Arsenal’s rising young star Emile Smith-Rowe has come up through the Arsenal Academy and has burst into the limelight since his League debut against Chelsea on Boxing Day. But he has been well respected in youth circles for many years and the youngster admitted that he had trials with Chelsea and also had Tottenham sniffing around, but there was only ever going to one club for ESR. “I grew up in an area that should be more Crystal Palace than anything else, but I was an Arsenal fan,” he admitted in the Daily Mail. “I trialled at Chelsea and didn’t get in. Something about me not being big enough, I’ve heard.
“But Arsenal found out and picked me up.
This has been confirmed by the former Tottenham talent-spotter David Webb, who has previously admitted that Spurs tried to sign ESR. “We tried to sign him before he signed his scholarship at Arsenal,” Webb said in the Mirrow.
“He was a player that fitted the way Mauricio Pochettino played and even at 16 we were looking at him as a potential young player who could progress into the first team.”
But ESR was always going to choose the gunners over our bitter rivals, so you can imagine how much he enjoyed playing in his first North London Derby, and very nearly scored as well. “I’m buzzing! As an Arsenal supporter you dream of playing in the north London derby and that was my first,” he said.
“I was unlucky not to get that goal. I rolled my foot over the ball then had a go. When the ball hit the crossbar, if you watch it back, I’d started celebrating.
“Oh mate, I thought I’d scored. Next one, though. Next one I’m going to score.”
And you know what? I believe he will!