Emile Smith-Rowe’s breakthrough into the Arsenal side has coincided with a return to form for Mikel Arteta’s men. The playmaker has helped Arsenal fans forget about Mesut Ozil’s omission – but Paul Ince and Owen Hargreaves have doubts.
Smith-Rowe, 20, has started Arsenal’s last three Premier League games – in which the Gunners have won. The playmaker has laid on two assists in that time, capping off a beautiful move in which Smith-Rowe squared to Bukayo Saka to tap home.
The England Under-20 international now has 19 senior Arsenal appearances to his name – scoring four goals and creating four more in that time. As he continues to shine, he is expected to remain in the team – but Arsenal are on the lookout for a new 10.
Indeed, Houssem Aouar and Emi Buendia are linked while Dominik Szoboszlai is expected to join RB Leipzig despite interest from the Gunners. Smith-Rowe might be replaced then, and both Ince and Hargreaves have doubts over the youngster.
Hargreaves told Premier League Productions: “I think Smith-Rowe is good. He’s smart, he plays quick, he doesn’t take too many touches – he knows he’s not a skillful flair player. Arteta has found a blend with these young guns to go alongside Aubameyang.
Ince added: “I don’t think Smith-Rowe is quite there yet. It’s a learning curve for him. They’re getting there.”