Mikel Arteta praises what he's seen from Emile Smith Rowe in training
Mikel Arteta has praised the performance of Emile Smith Rowe in training after the youngster was taken off as a substitute in Arsenal’s dramatic win at the weekend – in comments reported by Football London.
It was a strange day for the Gunners on Saturday. But it was also a strange day for Smith Rowe. Of course, the 22-year-old has been eased gently back into the squad after several months on the sidelines with injury.
He started the clash with Bournemouth on the bench. But the injury to Leandro Trossard meant that he was needed during the first-half. Unfortunately, he was not able to see out the game.
Arteta praises Emile Smith Rowe
With Arsenal 2-1 down, Arteta decided to bring Reiss Nelson on. And it proved to be Smith Rowe who came off.
Obviously, the decision was vindicated, with Nelson scoring the winner in the 97th minute. But gradually, people started to spare a thought for Smith Rowe given the stigma of the substitute getting substituted.
Arteta was asked about how Smith Rowe was ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Sporting. And he suggested that the attacking midfielder is in good spirits.
“He is fine. He has trained really well. He was extremely happy that his team won. And on to the next one,” he said, as reported by Football London.
It must be noted that the circumstances surrounding Smith Rowe’s afternoon were not like when Emmanuel Eboue had to be taken off after coming on all those years ago.
Smith Rowe was on the pitch for much longer than he has been at any other point this season. And that is significant given how long he has been sidelined for.
If anything, Nelson’s goal highlights that players such as Smith Rowe are going to have a big, big role to play in the remaining months of the season. His talent is undeniable.
It is simply going to come down to taking his opportunity at the perfect time – just as Nelson did.
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