Darren Bent believes the time has come for Smith Rowe to replace Havertz

Darren Bent has suggested that Mikel Arteta should consider benching Kai Havertz and provide Emile Smith Rowe with an opportunity in the Arsenal team.

Smith Rowe has faced challenges in securing consistent playing time at the club since his return from injury, but he featured in the midweek match against Brentford.

While Havertz has been struggling with his performances on the pitch, he continues to be a regular starter for Arsenal and has faced criticism for his recent displays.

Bent believes that Smith Rowe deserves a chance to showcase his abilities in the starting lineup and could potentially provide a solution to Arsenal’s midfield concerns.

He said on Talk Sport:

“It’s almost like Arteta has got a bit of a short memory. Listen, I love Arteta as a manager, but it was back to the 2021/22 season I think it was where his job was on the line.

“He was struggling a bit and who were the two that carried him through? [Bukayo] Saka and Smith Rowe, he got ten Premier League goals that season.

“Then the following season he had injuries and he’s been injury-hit ever since but the fact to say, to see if he can play at this level, that’s just crazy.

“I think if you’re asking me who I would rather play, Havertz or Smith Rowe, Smith Rowe every day of the week.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Havertz has had enough chance to come good and does not seem suited to our game.

It is only proper that Smith Rowe gets some chance to play for the club as one of our players for that position.


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Tags Darren Bent Emile Smith Rowe Kai Havertz


  1. Playing certain players ahead of Smith Rowe is like playing Mustafi in place of Saliba all over again.

    The gaffer seems to have this thing about him where he goes completely off the boil at times.

  2. I Totally agree. ESR has to play ahead of Havertz. If Arteta is true to the principles he always purports to follow, then he needs to have Smith-Row in there. Give him as much time as he has Havertz who is still struggling. In any case, we know where the DNA of the team lies.

  3. Smith Rowe will need to work on his defending if he is to take the left-eight role. I think we see from his cup appearance that he’s Odegaard’s rival/backup. Havertz’s physicality with his defending and his aerial prowess is probably what’s keeping him in the mix, but he didn’t start vs. Spu so maybe there is a chance that Emile will get a shot soon enough. Also when Partey is back available you’d have to imagine that Partey Rice and Odegaard will come out on top should Havertz still fail to impress

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