Smith Rowe’s ex-coach says he has surprised many by breaking into the first team

Emile Smith Rowe has been highly rated at the Arsenal academy for years before he broke into their first team.

The Gunners are not the only team that found him to be talented while he was coming through the ranks at their youth teams.

He had a stint at the German side, RB Leipzig earlier in his career and they wanted to land him permanently after the loan deal.

This showed that they had been watching him for some time, yet his former coach, Andries Jonker recently spoke to TV2 where he admitted that Smith Rowe showed a great commitment to the game and they expected him to have a decent career, but no one thought he would break into the Arsenal team.

Jonker joined Arsenal in 2014 and he oversaw the development of several players at the club including Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka, but he is proud of what Smith Rowe has achieved in his short Arsenal career.

About the English youngster, he said: “He was always motivated and dedicated as an academy player. He has always been very stable in his performances. 

“He rarely played four games, he rarely had an eight on the stock exchange. 

“As a rule, he was 6-7 out of 10. We definitely thought he could have a career in football, but I do not think many predicted that it would get on the first team of Arsenal.

“He was a talent with a solid head, but he was never seen as the greatest talent in the academy. 

“I’m very proud of what he’s achieving at the moment because he’s really put in all the work himself. He was someone you could trust, someone who was rarely injured. 

“I remember his father telling me that it would be good for the development of his personality to go abroad. So I was not surprised when he went to Leipzig on loan. 

“He is a down-to-earth type who does not allow himself to be distracted by peripheral things. He is simply a good boy to work with”

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