During an interview with Sky Sports, Mikel Arteta has lauded Emile Smith Rowe for his performances. The Arsenal youngster, currently on loan to Huddersfield Town, has impressed the onlookers and could potentially enjoy a bigger role in the first-team when he comes back to Emirates this summer.
“I am excited to work with him. I have been talking with him, and I have followed him during his spell on loan. I think he’s someone who can be pretty impressive. I’m pleased by what I’ve seen from him. He needed that exposure and he looks more mature now. I think he will be in a much better place when he comes back in pre-season.”, Arteta told Sky Sports.
Emile Smith Rowe’s success at Huddersfield Town
Smith Rowe initially joined Huddersfield Town on a short-term loan back in January as Arteta preferred the youngster to gain a bit more exposure in competitive football. The move has worked out quite well for the midfielder, it seems, with him having enjoyed a lot of success playing for the Terriers.
Indeed, Smith Rowe has featured in 19 league matches, scoring two goals and providing three assists. While those figures may seem rather underwhelming, his on-field contributions have been far greater, with the youngster filling the much-needed gap in the creative department for Huddersfield Town. He averaged an impressive 1.5 key passes per game, more than any other player for Huddersfield Town.
Smith Rowe’s contributions were critical in helping the Terries survive the wrath of relegation in the recently concluded 2019/20 Championship campaign. In fact, he was the one who scored the winner in the important 2-1 win over West Brom in GW45 that played a key role in securing survival.
How will Smith Rowe fit in at Arsenal next season?
Smith Rowe certainly has a lot of scope in the Arsenal team next season for multiple reasons. The Gunners are yet to show any signs of replicating last summer’s spending spree, which is understandable. Also, Mesut Ozil has gone through a rapid decline and is yet to feature in a single game since the restart.
That means there is a massive hole in that creative area, where Arsenal have largely appeared overreliant on the services of Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka. Smith Rowe, in that regard, can add more bite into the side, providing Arteta with an additional option at his disposal.
The fact that the 19-year-old can operate in a wider midfield role also makes it much easier for him to settle into Arteta’s 3-4-3 formation as he can be deployed in that left-wing slot. And given his tendency to shift into a central area of the pitch, it should give the left-wing much more freedom to go forward while making it harder for the defenders to keep track of him, ultimately allowing more space for the number nine.
Hence, the return of Smith Rowe is certainly an exciting prospect not just for Arteta, but also for the Arsenal fans as they prepare themselves for life without Ozil.