Arsenal have been linked with a number of players this summer, with the new manager expected to be in favour of adding some much-needed depth to the squad, but with Emile Smith-Rowe now told he will play a role next term, a new number 10 may not be so urgent.
Upon Mikel Arteta’s arrival as boss, he returned Mesut Ozil into the first-team, and he went onto start every Premier League match before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, but since the break he has been frozen out.
It remains to be seen if the relationship will remain broken from this point onwards, but our need for more options in behind the striker remains regardless.
Not a single midfielder has scored more than one PL goal this term, nor have they been credited with more than two assists this term, which is dire reading for any fan.
We most definitely need to rectify the above, and while Smith-Rowe has just one more goal than any of the current crop this season, playing in the relegation-battling Huddersfield side, you can forgive him for that in his seven-month spell.
Football.London reports that the 20 year-old and his representatives have been informed that he is a part of Arteta’s first-team plans going into the new season, although the same publication claims that he could favour another loan move should the club sign both Willian and Philippe Coutinho.
For Smith-Rowe, the most crucial signings may well need to come in defence, with a view to returning to a back-four which would free up the manager to return to playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or with him being the most advanced central player in a 4-3-3 system.
How much playing time Arteta’s envisages for ESR next season remains to be seen, but the player has long-been rated amongst the Arsenal hierarchy.
Could Emile emerge as our main number 10 come the end of next season?