After struggling to break into the team for the majority of last season due to injuries, Emile Smith Rowe has started getting minutes. He started his first game last week in the 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Brentford and in that game, he showed flashes of his previous brilliance.
The way he was drifting towards Brentford’s box was just brilliant. As fans, we expected him to feature prominently in our game versus Bournemouth, which we won 4-0, but he only got 9 minutes of normal game time.
About his limited game time, Mikel Arteta points out that it is too soon to anticipate more from the 23-year-old, who he claims is still working on a comeback plan.
Arteta said via Arsenal.com: “I think he had really good moments in the first half, and the game was much easier for him, the way he was developing with his qualities, and the game we started to play after five or ten minutes in the second half, and then after he was struggling more.
“Physically, he’s still not there to play 90 minutes; we have to bear in mind that we have four or five players in that field, and that was big concern for us today in the line-up because we have seven at Colney that are not fit now.”
It’s understandable that the Spaniard is treading carefully with the Hale End graduate. But what’s encouraging is that he hints at him being in his plans and that he wants him to play a significant role in the club in the long run.
Our No. 10 scored 10 goals in 33 league games in his best season for us, which was great. if he can try to reach those levels as the season develops, it will be crucial for us. Emile Smith-Rowe is a top player, and I’m sure we’re as eager as Arteta to see him get back to his best.
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