Arsenal legend Ian Wright has hailed Emile Smith Rowe’s influence on Mikel Arteta’s side.

Speaking on his Wrighty’s House podcast, he said that he feels the Gunners will really struggle to build up play when Smith Rowe doesn’t play.

There’s been plenty of talk this January about Arsenal signing a creative midfielder.

That would ease the burden on Smith Rowe and Wright feels Arsenal are already heavily reliant on him after just a short time in the first team.

Arsenal Training Session
(David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“What that Newcastle game showed me is the second string at Arsenal need massive, massive work,” said Wright.

“You’re looking at Emile Smith Rowe and his emergence in the space of three games.


“Honestly, his emergence in three games says to me we’re going to struggle if he’s not involved in the linkup play between midfield and striker.

“And it was appropriate that he was the one who scored that goal when Lacazette came onto the field. So reliable for a young player. When you looked at that game, we should have lost.”

Arsenal v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
(Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Smith Rowe has emerged as Arsenal’s most reliable creative midfielder.

There has been plenty of talk about recalling Mesut Ozil, but Smith Rowe’s introduction is a move which represents looking ahead to the future and not back to Arsenal’s past.

It will be interesting to see if he can sustain this form until the end of the season.

And of course that pursuit of a playmaker will also have an impact on Smith Rowe’s development. But he’s absolutely flying right now.

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