Ian Wright has praised Mikel Arteta for how he has managed the career of Emile Smith Rowe and said the Spaniard has helped Arsenal to avoid another Serge Gnabry situation.
Smith Rowe has been one of Arsenal’s best talents from their academy in recent years.
The Gunners have sanctioned his loan move away from the club on two occasions, firstly to RB Leipzig and then to Huddersfield Town, however, they have never considered selling him.
They also followed a similar pattern with Gnabry, but they eventually sold the German and he has now made them regret selling him.
Instead of keeping Smith Rowe on the sidelines until he leaves the club, Arteta has trusted him with first-team minutes and he has repaid the faith with some eye-catching performances.
Wright has enjoyed watching Smith Rowe play for the Gunners, and he praised Arteta for bringing the midfielder into the team at the right time.
‘It must be brilliant going into training at the moment for someone like Emile Smith Rowe,’ ex-Arsenal striker Wright said on Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House podcast as quoted by The Metro.
‘He’s somebody who has had his injuries, he’s gone on loan, he’s done his stuff. For me, Emile Smith Rowe has paid his dues out there, waiting for his chance.
‘I think that what Mikel has done now, the timing with which he’s done it, is absolutely perfect because I think if Emile Smith Rowe doesn’t get into this team, at this stage, and they carry on doing what they’re doing and persisting with people who are not performing at the levels they should – whether it’s Willian or [Nicolas] Pepe – I think you lose him.
‘Especially with January coming and then we’ve got a Serge Gnabry on our hands.’