Arsenal cruised to a comfortable win over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend and one of the stars of the game was Emile Smith-Rowe. Speaking after the match to the Independent, manager Mikel Arteta laid down a challenge for the midfielder.
Ever since his breakthrough in December of last year, the Englishman has gone to become one of the squad’s integral components. The opening goal against the Baggies was his second goal of the season and first in the Premier League.
The 20-year-old has established himself in the first team and looks destined for bigger things. Talking about his young star, Arteta told the Independent that the midfielder can reach a higher level. He said:
“We need to stay calm with him, give him the right support and step by step I think he will be getting there.”
And when further asked about what it would take Smith-Rowe to get there after scoring his maiden league goal, the Spaniard added:
“He’s having an incredible season ever since he started to play in December. But he’s scoring his first Premier League goal. An incredible season for a number 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give 10 assists. Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league. He’s got the ability to do it, but he hasn’t done it.”
In a disappointing season, the young star has been one of the club’s shining lights. The way his partnership has developed with Bukayo Saka will give the manager and fans a lot of hope. What makes the midfielder so special is his willingness to be direct in his approach and being so quick in his decision making makes him so dangerous in tight spaces.
Arsenal’s best performances in the latter half of the season have been when Smith-Rowe has been involved in the game. When the attack starts flowing through the Englishman, it is a sign that the Emirates side are playing well. Having made his mark this season, the player would want to step-up and become a main stay in the team next season.
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