What now for Emile Smith Rowe with Arsenal chances limited? (opinion)

Mikel Arteta told SkySports that he was looking forward to working with Emile Smith Rowe in pre-season, but his first-team hopes are looking limited.

Mesut Ozil has returned to training this week, and is believed to be ready to fight for a place in the team, while Willian and Dani Ceballos arrivals will limit his opportunities also.

Smith Rowe impressed playing in a central midfield role for Huddersfield on loan earlier in the year, and is held in high regard at the Emirates, so much so that they have baulked at an offer for his signature this summer.

The Independent Monaco came in with a bid to take him away on a permanent basis, but Arsenal have no intention of cutting ties with the 20 year-old.

They are believed to be open to allowing him to leave on loan, if he so wishes, but Mikel Arteta is not expected to push him towards the exit this summer.

With a packed schedule this season due to the late start, and with the European Championships coming up next summer also, teams will likely be keen to use more of their squad than in previous campaigns.

Saying that, I firmly believe that the manager would not stand in the 20 year-old’s way if he wanted to taste more first-team action after his successful six-month spell in the Championship, and with recent reports linking Premier League outfit Southampton with an interest, that move could well provide him with plenty of playing time and experience which could help him kick-start his career.

The player will have another month before the transfer window closes, and Emile may well analyse the rest of Arsenal’s activity before figuring out whether he wishes to stay and try and break into the manager’s plans, but if another Premier League side was willing to guarantee him regular minutes this season, I wouldn’t discourage him from the move.

Should Smith Rowe stay and learn what Arteta expects from him in training and fight for a role this term, or would he regret not taking the offer of guaranteed Premier League minutes this season?


Tags Emile Smith Rowe


  1. OT..Leicester away in Carabao cup…

    I was hoping we’d see more of ESR this season… clubs are circling…

  2. With the amount of intensity that MA demands from players,and the fact that there wasnt so much of preseason to condition the players,by december the team will be depleted by injuries.Everyone is going to have a good run of games

  3. Smith Rowe must stay at the club. Wait till it gets colder and Ozil cries off after another inept away display. He will get his chances and shouldn’t be hindered by a bad egg in the team.

  4. i see him as an integral part of the squad , team even if you factor in the above sabotage by ozil. i am not a great fan of aouar either , so we should raise the cash for partey instead of failing on both transfers,so the no 10 can be shared between willian , esr and willock.must keep ESR.

  5. ESR MUST STAY AND I THINK HE WILL. The article mentions Ozil and appears to think he will be a more likely starter than ESR. NOT FOR MY MONEY. No way!

  6. We can’t just keep on playing bcoz he has got huge potential. What he can delivers on the pitch at present is important, bcoz that’s gonna bring positive result which is important for the club now. Gone r the days when keep on playing players even they keep on playing worse just bcoz they had potential. Starting place is very much up for the grab for ESR with no attacking midfielders in starting 11. Now it depends on him to grab that oppertunity.

  7. I watched ESR’s 2nd half of the season highlights at Huddersfield and this kid was destroying teams in midfield. And that’s despite the fact that he’s only 20 years old.

    That’s why I don’t get the links to this Aour (AH) guy. Fair and fine the guy is good but let’s just compare these facts:

    1. AH is 22 years old, ESR is 20. So ESR has 2 years on AH and given his growth trajectory imagine what he’ll be like when he’s 22.

    2. AH might need a whole season to adapt to EPL (look at Pepe who also came from Ligue 1) while ESR is probably more EPL ready as he was playing in England already, though in the Championship.

    3. AH definitely has more and better experience than ESR given that he was a starter for Lyon (a big team football wise mind you say) in Ligue 1 ( in which to be fair he played against better opposition than ESR did in the Championship) and in the Champions League. But the Championship has teams that do play some amazing football. The likes of Wolves, Leicester, Sheffield Utd, Leeds, Bournemouth have all danced with or are dancing with Championship football.

    4. AH is 175cm tall. ESR is 182cm. ESR can be a more imposing CAM and can be coached to head balls so he’s a threat in the opposition box in the air.

    5. AH is 70kg. ESR is 79kg. The EPL is physical and clearly ESR is more the one likely to be more conditioned for the physicality given his weight (like Traore from Wolves or the peak Yaya Toure). He’ll be difficult to stop. Though given his age I do worry that he vulnerable to becoming overweight.

    6. Pace. From what I’ve seen ESR has more pace than AH. Kind of like how Traore is big but damn fast.

    7. 2019/20 Season Stats: Here I will only focus on AH’s Ligue 1 stint vs ESR’s Championship stint as these provide a fairer comparison since ESR was not really settled during the season until he went to Huddersfield.
    AH managed to make 25 Ligue 1 appearances managing 3 goals and 4 assists.
    ESR managed to make 19 Chamionship appearances managing 2 goals and 2 assists.

    8. ESR is home grown.

    AH is costing £54mil. ESR £0. Part of that £54mil can be used to get Partey. No brainer.

    So to conclude, I don’t see us getting both Aour £54mil and Partey £45mil. That’s basically £100mil though if we sell Guendouzi £20mil + Torreira £25mil + Bellerin £25mil (we’ve got AMN, Soares and remember Chambers can play right back) a few other fringe players £10-15mil total (Sokratis on his way out, Kolasinac wants out but will need to get cover for KT3 unless we promote from the academy, Elneny) our net spend would be £15 mil 🙄.

    However, it’s more probable we’ll only get 1 of the 2 and I think Partey is more important given that we just signed Ceballos a CM on a loan again and I believe ESR is the next KDB with the right coaching from Arteta. Partey is therefore the experienced head at 27 years old, Ceballos is mildly experienced at 24 years old while ESR is the understudy at 20 years old, though each of their respective roles are differentin that midfield 3. Plus ESR won’t play every game remember but i believe if we have a midfield to choose from Partey, Xhaka, Ceballos, ESR and Willock, the younger players being ESR and Willock can be afforded more playing time to develop.

    I honestly think Aour will kill off ESR’s development 🙄….. but hey if we get both then I guess we could always loan out ESR (he wouldn’t be short of EPL suitors) and then bring him back when Ceballos leaves us so he can compete with Aour.

    1. Some good points made there, boss, and great homework. I’m inclined to agree. I’d much rather put faith in ESR, prioritise Partey and ideally go for a striker either to compete with or replace Laca.

    2. GunnerSince2004, thank you for your well researched and well reasoned comment.
      Aouar may not “kill off ESR’s development”, because competition makes the player and club stronger.

  8. Yes, this thing is looking to be ticklish to handle and I think it should be handled with diligent care. And the earlier Arteta handles it to resolve it the better it will be for Arsenal.

    It has been reported in the media that Lyon FC has rejected Arsenal money bid plus a player to sign their Houssem Aouer.

    But what amount of money and the name of the Gunner attach to the money that Arsenal used to bid for Aouer is not stated. So, us don’t know how truthful the media reports on the subject are.

    But according to reports, David Ornstein of the Atletics was quoted to have said that, Arsenal is preparing a bid to sign Aouer this summer.

    But that Ornstein’s information apart, if Arsenal plan to sign Aouer has become financially burdensome for the club to bear, and knowing in the back of their mind they could still have to sign a recognized DM this summer, whose signing fee may cost Arsenal much money to conclude as that of Aouer is proving to be for Arsenal to get done.

    Therefore, I will suggest Arsenal should forego one of the two signings of Aouer and the recognized DM that they are touted should sign this window. And concentrate on signing a DM or Aouer.

    And Since Arsenal has the alternative in ESR in their backyard who is good as the acclaim Aouer is, and who Arsenal is chasing after to sign. But if Arsenal trust ESR to the extend he won’t disappoint the club throughout the campaign next season, why shouldn’t Arsenal then drop their attempt to sign Aouer in favour of to keep their own ESR to do the same job that Aouer will do for the club if signed.

    But if Arsenal managed to do some surpluse to requirements at the club offloading before this summer transfer window closes to have some hard currency in their summer window kitty. The club could still go after the signings of a new play maker and DM at the same time this summer ij for ESR still being 20 year old is a concern to the club.

  9. It has been mentioned on another site that Aouer is really not all that, and that Dani has better numbers in key areas.

    Would rather have us purchase Partey, and pass on Aouer, and develop ESR or the likes.
    Just sayin’.

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