Opinion: Odegaard signing could have a negative impact on Smith Rowe

When Emile Smith Rowe broke into the Arsenal first-team late last year, I thought we had finally found the midfielder that we needed.

To me, he might be young, but the Englishman is ready to take his chances in the team and that is what’s important.

In his 5 league appearances this season, he has provided 3 assists and those numbers will go up as he continues to shine for the Gunners.

He isn’t the finished article yet, but with every game that he plays, he has shown great improvement.

Unless he gets injured, I don’t see why Smith Rowe shouldn’t start games for us on a regular basis, but now he may have competition in Martin Odegaard.

The Norwegian is reportedly set to join Arsenal on loan for the next six months. The only reason why he is making the move to London is that he wants to see more game time.

This puts Smith Rowe’s development in jeopardy because both of them play in the same position and Mikel Arteta will be forced to alternate between them now.

I don’t doubt that he can find a way to play both midfielders, but Arsenal already has the likes of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, and it is sensible to think that only one of them will start matches.

I am excited to see Odegaard play for my team, but I’m also worried about the impact his move will have on Smith Rowe. 

Tags Emile Smith Rowe Martin Odegaard


  1. Ad MARTIN, ARE YOU REALLY AS NAIVE AS THIS ARTICLE PAINTS YOU? By your reasoning, no team would ever have cover for any position at all. And squads, as against merely eleven players, are there for a good reason. CAN YOU GUESS WHAT THAT MIGHT BE!!!

  2. First time I saw ESR play competitively was in Europa League this season as a nominal winger in a 4-3-3 and he was just the same – his workrate, intelligence and skill shines through. Odegaard has also played plenty of games on the wing, I understand, so I see no reason both cannot play in the same side – just gives us more options and (hopefully) means we can rest players without utterly destroying the team. Not sure if Odegaard is the right man or not, but this is a necessary signing

    1. I have been keen on Odegaard for Arsenal prior to his leaving Norway. He is a very good footballer and I hope Arsenal has an option to buy. There is no reason why Odegaard and “Saville” Rowe can’t both play (one deeper) in the same midfield with Thomas Partey.

      1. ozziegunner Real reject and we are looking for a loan we have set our sights low Grealish and players of that standard is what Arsenal want and we expect

  3. If Odegaard plays on the right wing, it would force Saka to play second fiddle to Tierney. Should’ve gotten a new LB or a towering target man first, before getting another CAM

  4. Bullshit.. smith ain’t gonna stop playing cuz of Odegaard. I believe playing both would make more sense don’t you think?

  5. With the Europa League starting up again soon we’ll need cover for Smith Rowe who I think at the moment is the only key player in the squad that we have no cover for so it makes good sense to me.
    It depends on Ødegaard’s (and by default Madrid) expectations on how much match time he expects to get, and is it actually not possible to play them together?

  6. One is fine, two is better, we’re richer having the two of them: there are lots of matches still to be played, both in the league and in Europe, it offers us guarantee against loss of form, injury and burnout given how young they both are, the key is for the Coach to find a way to build a solid friendship between the two so they compliment each other positively. Well done Mikel and Edu.

  7. Bollocks! Competition is supposed to bring the best out of players. Besides the lad is here only on loan. Given how previous January loans have gone, I would not hold my breath.

  8. It’s important that we have able cover for each position. ESR can’t play every game. And you all saw today what happens when our midfield is Willian…
    Welcome to Arsenal Odegard!
    May we never have to see Willian ever again!

  9. ESR is talented and flexible enough to play in the same team as Odegaard. There should be enough games were we can play two attacking midfielders, and enough games for ERS to have the right amount of rest without impacting his development, motivation and it would also keep him grounded.

  10. Odegaard has not been brought in to play on the right wing but to provide creativity in the number ten role.While he is technically very skilled, with a wand of a left foot, he is not particularly quick and in my opinion he will find it difficult to come to terms with the physical demands of the EPL.I am not in favour of loan signings generally ,and more so when Arsenal will not have an option to buy clause in place.I sincerely hope ESR continues to get regular game time if he continues to play well , because I cannot see how Arteta can use both in the same team without weakening our defensive capabilities.It will be interesting to see how Arteta manages the situation as he looks for ways of improving the team with next season in mind.The need for a left footed LB to support Tierney is even more evident after today’s loss, as is the need for pace and energy to support Partey in midfield.

    1. My thoughts exactly… As good as ESR is he hasn’t yet incorporated defense spliting passes into his game, he works well off the ball but requires Lacazette or Saka for those one touch pass and run style to get past the opponents… Take either or both out and ESR would be very ineffective attackwise.
      But Odegaard can do that, very good left foot for short and long range passes, good technical and dribbling skills, no 1 at Real Sociedad last season for Chances creation and Passes into the box… We definitely need someone like that…

      1. Here here Blue – an attacking midfielder and a number 10 potentially, but a different skill set to ESR, and quite honestly at this stage a better player. His longer through ball skills are stunning. For this reason alone they could play together with Ode deeper.. He’s a class act.

  11. How can it be negative to have another quality young player? ESR is great but we can’t depend on one player. If he adds to our quality it will help ESR not hinder him. If we keep playing Xhaka and Elneny, ESR won’t develop anyway.

  12. Is a welcomed development, both of them can compliment each other and form a formidable attack for us,to hell with William, he is a finished product

  13. He will be signed for six months not 6years. Besides how do you expect Emile to play every match. Look at today, he was rested boom we lost. We need quality players ASAP and Odegard we do us a whole lot of good Emile will be rotated with him.

  14. ESR cannot play every match, he will experience burn out,odegaard is highly needed,in fact William and Pepe have just proof to everyone that they are below par instead of ESR to be affected by Martin’s arrival, it’s both William and pepe that actually be affected

  15. Odegaard is a very necessary signing no joke about that
    (1) He is presently an upgrade on ESR
    (2) We have lots of game to play for the very reason ESR is not even in today squad.
    (3) Smith will learn a thing or two about this particular position from him
    (4) He is going to offer a whole lot more when we are playing low block teams
    (5) Finally this is a very shrewd peice of business that Arsenal can only benefit

  16. There’s no negative consequence (s) here. Saka and Rowe have no replacements except the dead duo of Willian and Pepe. Odegaard ensures we have cover for the next 6 months.

  17. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Ode doesn’t have something to offer, but were supposed to be playing the long-game…now if Ceballos is heading back to Spain, as some in the media have suggested, and Arteta was thinking of changing up the tactics(maybe 4-1-4-1 or even 3-5-1) to something a little more forward thinking and direct, it might have some merit, but only if that means Ode and ESR were both starting…I just find it hard to believe Arteta will do a 180 on his defense-first tactics…likewise, I’m fairly convinced that, like he gave to Willian, Ode’s getting some assurances regarding starting minutes…why else would he want to switch mid-stream, especially considering our struggles this season…even Ode spoke about us being a team in transition…well if we’re truly a team in transition, we should not be catering to the whims of a loan candidate, especially if that could be potentially detrimental to the maturation process of a current starter who’s producing results….I would much rather see someone like Azeez get some minutes, unless we’re actually bringing in a bona fide target…not to mention, without FA games, our schedule isn’t so tedious that we need to “baby” ESR too much…we know he’s had a somewhat problematic injury history, but we need to find out early on if he’s going to be another Ramsey, Wiltshire, Diaby, Rosicky etc…, so we can plan accordingly, instead of having another built-in excuse for midfield mediocrity…like I’ve said before, on many occasions, we can’t continue to be the same half-measure, band-aid buying, wage bill mismanaging shite show that can’t seem to make the difficult decisions required to finally reinvent this old-man Wenger wheel…that’s why we can’t put too much on our rookie manager’s plate…we can’t afford another manager-centric model at the Emirates, which is why we need a more Dein-like figure up top…hopefully the new man, Garlick will bring something to the table

    1. Only thing that worries me with Odegaard signing is his recent lack of playing time which means hes highly unlikely to hit the ground running straight away and will take time to get to speed with prem league so with that in mind yes it’s a big gamble!!

      1. It may be a huge gamble, but he can’t do any worse than Willian and Pepe who are both useless at the momet

  18. It seems we take one step forward, then two steps back. No sooner do we find a winning team combination, than Arteta changes it. We were toothless up front today. I keep saying we really need a goal scorer, but no, we get yet another midfielder. I too worry he will impact ESR’s development. However, Arsenal have a chance at redemption on Tuesday, lets hope they take it.

    1. It’s no step backward. It’s a part of the process. There’ll be more bumps in this ride as far as this season is concerned. It’s worrying though that saka and Rowe who should be cover and backup are now the key protagonists of this team. Unfortunately, those who should be key players are not even adequate as backup.
      Still the coach had to rest these young lads. We can’t increase their chances of getting injured and thus unavailable for important games.
      Hope fully, Willian and Pepe would feature again this season. Their places should be taken by academy players. They can’t perform worse than these guys are at the moment.

  19. smith rowe has shown some moments of quality against lowly opposition but the idea that he fills our creativity gap has no foundation in football reality … i genuinely hope he improves and in a couple of years can match the level of players in that position in teams we want to be competing against but do not kid ourselves he is there yet… reminder: villa’s win today puts us back in bottom half of the table … dont really know if ostegaard offers a long term option but he is clearly a more developed footballer than smith rowe so can only hope he adds something more going forward …

  20. How Arteta handles Smith Rowe from here on is vital for both their careers. Arteta needs to look after him and not let his ego set back another career. This tendency to prefer certain players over others is becoming clearer. It’s also very worrying because it reveals a lack of judgement ,selecting players on their “mould ability” rather than individual skills.

  21. It is something that has been really bothering me a lot, ever since i heard the news regarding odegaard transfer. Both the guys play in a similar position and both of them are young and hold immense potential. Given, Smith-Rowe’ current hot streak, it does not make any sense why he will be replaced. So, there will be competition for places, along with ceballos and saka. So, smith-rowe won’t have that much amount of time to prove again. He will have to be firing all cylinders every game, as it is now. The only fear with so much positive links is the case of an injury. It is hard to imagine, smith-rowe getting injured again. Cannot bear to see willian in the midfield again.

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