'He needs to get better at': Mikel Arteta makes claim about £20k-a-week Arsenal starlet after defeat
Mikel Arteta has told Arsenal on their official website that finishing is one part of the game Emile Smith Rowe knows he must improve after the attacking midfielder got the Gunners’ goal on Tuesday.
Arsenal opened their pre-season campaign with a surprise defeat. Goals in either half saw Hibernian take a 2-0 lead at Easter Road.
The Premier League side did have their chances. Nicolas Pepe was unable to convert a penalty in the second-half.
But Arsenal did get a goal back. And it came from Smith Rowe. The 20-year-old seemed to ghost in at the far post to get on the end of a cross.
Ultimately, it was a rare highlight on a frustrating day for the Gunners. But Arteta suggested that the goal gave him plenty of satisfaction given what Smith Rowe is working on in training.
“He knows that it is a part of the game he needs to get better at,” he told the club’s official website. “We are working on it a lot and you could see the positions that he took today. He created two or three big chances.”
Smith Rowe did score a couple of goals last term. His first came in the 3-1 win over West Brom in May. Meanwhile, he doubled his tally a few days later with the winner at Chelsea.
But you can see why Arteta is keen to see Smith Rowe improve that area of his game.
Arteta will welcome more goals from Smith Rowe as youngster prepares for prominent Arsenal role
It appears that the academy graduate is going to be a key man for the Gunners in the coming campaign.
Arsenal therefore, need to see a decent goal return from the £20,000-a-week starlet.
Interestingly, he boasted an XG of 2.0 last season. So he was actually spot on what was expected of him.
But it will definitely be a boost for the Gunners if he is appearing in those key areas more often over the coming months.