Martin Keown has made a comparison between Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe and World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, but explained that the former is much better when it comes to energy and showing high pressing.
Ozil, who joined the Gunners for £42.4million (BBC) in 2013, was at one stage considered one of the best attacking midfielders in world football and excelled in the number 10 role.
He’s not been a part of the squad this season and the Athletic reported an update on Saturday about his potential exit from the Emirates Stadium.
The report claimed that Arsenal had reached an agreement in principle to terminate Ozil’s contract, with the 32-year-old now set to travel to Turkey to join Fenerbahce after agreeing a deal to sign for them.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been on the search for a creator this campaign and academy graduate Smith Rowe is somebody that has really emerged.
The 20-year-old has taken giants strides forward lately to become a regular in the senior team. He’s now scored two goals and set up four assists in just nine games across all competitions this season.
Pundit and ex-Arsenal defender Known feels that English talent Smith Rowe gives great energy in the attacking third out of possession, which is where his game differs from Ozil.
“It’s the same role, same position as Ozil, but he plays in a very different way. With much more energy, I think he closes down better, he springs out from that position to shut down. He’s always available,” Keown told Football Focus.
Smith Rowe is going to have one hell of a career if he turns out half as good as Ozil, despite the latter somewhat tarnishing his record with the sour way his Arsenal career has drawn to a close.
But they have a new playmaker pulling the strings right now, with Smith Rowe making the most of his opportunity.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal want to spend big on a new signing in that position moving forward, but the window is open for Smith Rowe to make a real case for himself.