What a birthday for Smith-Rowe! A goal, an assist, and a new Arsenal contract – Now calm down…

Who had heard of Emile Smith-Rowe before this pre-season started? Only mad Arsenal fans (like me!) who follow the youths as well as everything else Arsenal. Now, after scoring on his full debut against Atletico Madrid and giving an assist on his 18th birthday as the Gunners destroyed PSG 5-1, he is definitely the flavour of the month and hopefully one of Arsenal’s most promising youngsters (and actually we do have quite a few at the moment).

Now the youngster has been rewarded for his excellent performances in Singapore with a new improved long term deal, and there is no-one happier than himself! “To be honest it feels great for me. It’s something I’ve always dreamt of since I was young, so to sign a new contract with Arsenal… I’m just so happy and it feels surreal at the moment.

“Knowing how Arsenal play and knowing the background of the club is something I really look up to. The new head coach really inspires me so hopefully I can get chances in the first team to prove how good I am.

“It’s so crazy! Training with the players that Arsenal have is a dream for me, something that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. To get the opportunity to train and play with them on tour was just an unbelievable feeling for me.

“I just feel so much more comfortable. The players are so welcoming. No one’s tried to leave me out of the group or anything, so when I’m at Arsenal, it feels like a family. Everyone’s just so together and I think that’s helped me so much on and off the pitch.”

It was obviously a euphoric week for the lad, but he knows he is only 18 and he is not looking to turn into an instant star. He admits the reaction after the tour games was incredible, but he also knows he still has a long way to go. “My phone’s been going off so much since that happened!” he said. “Since I got back, I’ve had so many good messages from fans and the support has just been crazy. I’m just so happy at the moment. It was my birthday recently so for me it’s just been a crazy week in general.

“Everyone was just so happy. Everyone was showing my surname, they kept shouting it at me. It was a great feeling for me and I’m still so happy – I can’t stop smiling!

“When I got back to the hotel, I got my phone and the messages they (the family) were sending me said they were so proud of me. It gave me that belief that it’s only just started and now I need to stay focused and keep my head down. I just need to listen to them as much as I can.”

And his family are obviously trying to keep the lad grounded, as stars are never made in one week, so his closing statement was exactly what I wanted to hear. “For this season I’m hoping to play for the under-23s but my main target is to get minutes in the first team, progress, play well and impress the boss so I can maybe get chances in the Premier League one day.”

I like that. Keep your head down, and one day you can become an Arsenal legend. Don’t let instant fame go to your head like so many before you….



  1. jon fox says:

    Sound and grounded sentiments and music to our ears, I’d say.

  2. Phelyx says:

    Just don’t know what to expect this season

  3. Sue says:

    I liked his reaction to all the tweets saying he’s a better crosser than Becks, better than Pele etc!
    I’m really impressed with him, he’s been brilliant! Keep it up!!

  4. Gifted says:

    This kid is our future folks. He has everything that is required to be a world class player. I think he should even get some minutes in the EPL. After all, If he is good enough he is old enough. Mesut better step up his game now

  5. Sue says:

    Our pictures have changed!

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    I think the Europa League could be a blessing in disguise this season. Not only will it allow Emery to rest our key players, which should benefit us in the league, it’ll allow the chance for youngsters like Smith-Rowe, Nelson, etc, to get a fair amount of game time.

    I don’t want to hype this kid up too much, but you can tell there’s something about him. I feel his composure is a bit beyond his years (not on the level of a Cesc at the same age, but still very good), but it’s his physicality that impresses me. We always see youngsters coming through, and we say they need to bulk up more, but Smith-Rowe looks physically ready to go.

    Cannot wait for the season to start!

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      its depends on Emery if he wishes to play a full strength squad from the start or a mix squad

  7. Puntamarina says:

    Sue, Pele played in the World Cup final as a teenager. This lad hasn’t yet broke into the first team. Stop comparing him to other players. He needs time to develop his game.

    1. Sue says:

      I didn’t say that…. people had said that about him on Twitter. I just saw his reaction to those tweets… get it right mate!

  8. Goonerboy says:

    Dont think he will get much chances in the EPL anytime soon as the competition is now crazy.
    Like he has said, under 23s and carling cup is his level for this season at least, wish him best of luck!

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      we do not know if Emery will play a young side or a mixed side for league cup….

      Emery might go full strength for every competiton…but i think he might mix it up

  9. barryglik says:

    For me the club is in
    the first of a 3 year transition.
    Last season the changes
    were being made.
    Mertz Cazorla Walcott Chamberlain
    Gabriel Gibbs Debuchy Sanogo and
    probably Koz (injury) too are gone.
    Jenkinson Campbell Perez Ospina
    are probably going this summer.
    Next summer Cech Monreal Ozil Mkhitaryan Lichsteiner may go.
    even Aubameyang if we are to recoup some of his 60m fee.
    Lacazette Welbeck Chambers Holding Elneny Xhaka Ramsey Iwobi
    have still to prove themselves on a consistent basis.
    Torreira Socratis Leno are new.
    Mavropanos Guendouzi “look” promising as do Nelson Niles + Rowe.
    But only Ozil and Auba are really top class and consistent.
    All the rest are on trial this season.
    Being in the Europa League as others have said is indeed a blessing.
    I think the league will be very tough this season.
    3rd or 4th is possible but 5th or 6th would be a pass mark.
    Then next summer another cull and replacements
    as Emery becomes more comfortable as manager.
    Next season we should be genuine contenders
    but now it is all about continuing the long awaited transition. 🙂

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      Sell Aubameyang? It’s taken years to get 2 top class strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette and you want to sell to recoup some money? Do you honestly believe Kroenke would invest the transfer fee received in buying an equivalent/better replacement? I have serious doubts on past performance.

    2. jon fox says:

      No side with serious ambition dreams of selling it’s best player. There would be deep anger if ever we sold Aubameyang BUT it is not going to happen, so relax. And perhaps you might care to re-think your silly suggestion to sell him.

  10. Sal says:

    i’m happy that our academy is producing talent, and i’m very happy for the lad he deserves it.
    keep it up rowe you’ve started brilliantly!

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      And think of the strength of Arsenal’s academy teams with Greenwood, Lopez and Flores added this year to the existing squads.

      1. Sal says:

        thumbs up 🙂

  11. ger burke. says:

    good for him , he deserves all of the praise. he is a gem , and i hope his future is as bright as everybody predicts. cant wait for him to reach maturity and conquer the world in our colours.

  12. Full of confidence,,,, great for the future.

  13. Maks says:

    One of the reasons I love Arsenal is that there is still a window at the club for young guns to get their chance. It is hard in today s game for the money but we got really good talent in Smith-Rowe, Maitland Niles, Nelson, Guendouzi, Mavrapanos, Holding, … even Iwobi (who should be loned asap), and all those players looks much more promising to me then Wengers boys: Gibbs, Walcott, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Sanogo, … Wenger made a plan for those guys to become world class but where are they now? Any interest from any big club for any of them?
    I think Smith-Rowe, Niles,… and others will be much more successful!

    1. Maks says:

      I like my new avatar icon Admin. It looks positive as I am for the next season. Thank you and rendom AI choice.

  14. mohawk says:

    Lots of positives right now. But I just can’t stop feeling pessimistic about Sokratis (and the central defense in general).

    Am I missing something???

    1. RSH says:

      arsenal should’ve splashed the cash and just bought a top level defender. Sokratis isn’t at his peak, even though he’s still good. The issue hasn’t been solved. The problem though is that Arsenal’s budget of around 70mill was just way too low to be able to afford anyone of guaranteed quality this summer. And I know we got Torreira, but he’s low-key/intelligent buy. For our defense we just need somebody who’s quality is 100% guaranteed and everybody knows it. Unfortunately that market is small

  15. Dan says:

    Hopefully he will get some game time in the cups looks the real deal!!

    1. Michae says:

      All that is needed in football is confidence and bonding with the rest not age.Rowe Smith is a talent should be in the first Squad. Why but talents for alot Money while you have Smith,Nketiah,Nelson ,Tutu and Niles Maitland believe in them

  16. Cheadle says:

    Its a marathon not a sprint.
    However, it is a possibility that an 18 year old can become influential even in the presence of many senior players.
    Although not all players are physically and mentally mature at this age to handle the biggest stage, there are some examples for those of us who want instant “Emile Smith Rowe” gratification
    =Kanu and Kluivert were playing CL finals with Ajax at I8
    =Fabregas picked up his first FA Cup winner’s medal at 17
    =Rashford and Rooney announced themselves with goals against …wait for it….. Arsenal
    =Other top kids past and present: Milner, Donnaruma, Ousmane dembele, Justin Kluivert
    and one Kylian Mbappe.
    -And for good measure Teenager as Super Hero: Tom Holland (an Arsenal fan by the way) played Spider-man in CA: Civil War at 19

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