'He can': Kevin Campbell says 22-year-old Arsenal prospect could be Granit Xhaka's replacement at the Emirates
Kevin Campbell has tipped Emile Smith Rowe to take Granit Xhaka’s spot in the Arsenal team in the long-term.
Speaking on the Highbury Squad YouTube channel, the pundit stated that he thinks that Smith Rowe’s big challenge is to go out and prove that he is worthy of getting into this Arsenal side as a central midfielder, imploring the 22-year-old to improve the defensive side of his game.
Smith Rowe broke through at Arsenal as a number 10 before being shifted out to the left, but now, Campbell believes that the 22-year-old could make the switch into midfield in the near future.
Smith Rowe to move to midfield
Campbell spoke about the youngster moving into Xhaka’s role.
“By the way, ESR, I think the challenge is this for Smith Rowe. Go and prove that you can play in Granit Xhaka’s spot and take it,” Campbell said.
“I think he can, but the part of the game that needs to be developed is the defensive side. Going forwards ESR can do some amazing things, we’ve seen it last season when he hit double figures, he can be a difference maker going the other way. Defensively is where Xhaka has that number eight spot nailed down.”
Needs to bulk up
Not only does Smith Rowe need to improve the defensive side of his game if he’s going to switch positions in this manner, he also needs to bulk up.
While the 22-year-old is an incredibly talented technical player, he isn’t as physically strong as a player like Xhaka, and that’s one area he needs to improve upon.
Smith Rowe certainly has the energy and the technical prowess to move into the number eight role, but there are areas he needs to focus on if he is going to actually usurp Xhaka.
You may also like…
- What Xabi Alonso has told Granit Xhaka ahead of signing for Bayer Leverkusen
- Arsenal think they can get £30m discount on ‘outstanding’ player this summer
- Arsenal hope Mikel Arteta can persuade ‘phenomenal’ player to join them
- Journalist says Arsenal must move quickly if they want to sign £75m player now