Emile Smith-Rowe has been named as Chelsea’s on loan midfielder Conor Gallagher’s toughest opponent, when doing a live Q&A yesterday with current club Swansea.
The 20 year-old has been enjoying a strong run of first-team action on loan this term, starting 25 times for Charlton in the opening months of the campaign, before being sent to team up with Swansea in January, where he continued to be regular starter.
Amidst the crisis, he has joked that the last thing that he would want is for the season to be null and voided, theoretically meaning that his debut season would be forgotten altogether, before being asked to name the players he has struggled to play against.
Asked to name his toughest opponent so far, Chelsea’s future star told Swansea’s official website: “In terms of reputation it would be Wayne Rooney.
“But I remember in the FA Youth Cup, Emile Smith Rowe game me the runaround so that’s a game that sticks out for me.”
Smith-Rowe is currently enjoying his own loan spell with Huddersfield in the Championship in order to gain first-team experience, after spending much of the current campaign on the bench for Arsenal or with the Under-23s.
Emile is highly rated at the Emirates, although not seen as the finished article as of yet, and he will hopefully be in Arteta’s sites for the long-term.
It has been said that he could be the long-term replacement for Mesut Ozil as if to shed some light on his playing style, but only 19 he lacks some of the experience that is needed at the top level.
Saka’s progress in a first-team role will likely inspire him that he should target a breakthrough in the near future, and a big pre-season may well convince Arteta to keep him around the first-team for next season.
With both Torreira linked with an exit, Guendouzi failing to nail down a first-team role under Arteta, and with Ceballos set to return to Spain at the end of his loan in June, could Smith Rowe stake a claim for squad role next term?