Arsenal staff think 22-year-old youngster will take Granit Xhaka's place and play in midfield with Martin Odegaard
The Evening Standard reports that Arsenal staff think Emile Smith Rowe could eventually take Granit Xhaka’s place and play with Martin Odegaard in midfield.
Smith Rowe has endured a torrid season in terms of his fitness after picking up an injury against Manchester United back in September.
The 22-year-old has made just seven Premier League appearances this season as a result, with all of them coming as a substitute.
The Hale End academy product was a key player for Arteta last season and was impressive while playing across Arsenal’s front-three.
But it seems that there is a belief within Arsenal that the youngster will develop into a central midfield player, rather than a number 10 or wide forward.
Arsenal staff think Smith Rowe could play in midfield
Arteta is currently planning for Smith Rowe to play in Arsenal’s front-three, according to The Evening Standard.
But the outlet claims that there is a belief amongst Arsenal coaches that he could end up playing alongside Odegaard in midfield.
Smith Rowe has mainly operated as an attacking midfielder or wide forward under Arteta, but he has shown his versatility by playing as a false nine last season.
The youngster seems like a good fit to play the Xhaka role considering that the Swiss star has played in a more advanced position this season.
For the time being though, Smith Rowe will be desperate to force his way back into the Arsenal side after a frustrating season so far.
The Gunners are set to travel to Portugal for their Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday and Smith Rowe will be hoping to start from the off.
He made a big impact on the game against Bournemouth on Saturday as he came off the bench and provided an assist. Arteta will be hoping that Smith Rowe can build on this display and become an important player for the remainder of the season.
You may also like…
- Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka can play ‘much better’ than he did yesterday
- NBC pundit says people don’t appreciate how good Ben White is
- Gabriel Magalhaes left seriously impressed by £70m striker last night, after rumours Arsenal could sign him
- Folarin Balogun amazed after seeing Bukayo Saka’s performance for Arsenal yesterday