David Webb praises Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe, claiming he will prove to a top Premier League player inside three years.
Webb stepped down from his role as Huddersfield Director of Football recently, but played a big role in helping his former side bring the young Gunner to The John Smith’s Stadium in January.
EMR had little first-team involvement for Arsenal in the opening half of the campaign, and the decision was made once Mikel Arteta came in before the window to allow him to leave on loan, and he has done well for the Terriers.
Webb was already well educated on the talent that Smith Rowe possessed having watched him as a youth product, and was happy to land him amidst various offers for his signature
Webb told TalkSport: “He’s been excellent. I knew Emile from a very young age from my time at Tottenham.
“He was a player that we always had a keen eye on and we knew really well at Tottenham because, having played against our Under-18s and Under-23s, we knew he was a fantastic talent.
“When we [Huddersfield] approached Arsenal to talk about the possibility, we weren’t the only club on the table. There were quite a few other clubs, not just in the UK, but from abroad as well – and a couple of Premier League teams were interested.
“I think the deciding factor for Emile was the fact we had that good relationship with Arsenal, and I could talk about that I knew the player previously and by bringing him into Huddersfield we were going to look after him – not only as a player, but develop him as a person as well and give him that exposure of playing regular and consistent Championship football.
“Right from the first training session, you could see his quality was immense straight away.
“I think he’s given the team a different dynamic to how they want to play, because he can play as a number ten or break-in number eight.
“Over the next two to three years, you’re probably going to see someone who is going to have a really good career in the Premier League.
“I definitely think he has the potential to play a number of games. I know Mikel had worked with him previously before he joined Manchester City at the academy, so he’s well acquainted with Emile’s talent and he’s a big fan of Emile as a player and person.”
The youngster will have some big shoes to fill should he make the step up to the Arsenal first-team over the coming years, with Mesut Ozil having operated in behind the striker predominantly in recent years.
The German has come in for criticism in recent years, but that has largely been down to the expectation surrounding him as the club’s highest earner but his time at the club is more than likely into it’s later stages.
Could Smith Rowe be the long-term successor to Ozil?