Alan Smith surprised Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe hasn't played more this season

Sam Preston December 23, 2020
Alan Smith surprised Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe hasn't played more this season
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Alan Smith spoke about Emile Smith Rowe during Sky Sports‘ coverage of Arsenal’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City last night.

The midfielder was introduced from the bench on 65 minutes but Smith said he was surprised he hasn’t played more this season.

Smith Rowe has made just one start this season, in the Europa League away win over Dundalk.

Smith said Arsenal are lacking someone with his vision and invention, during a season when they’ve struggled to create chances.

Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“Emile Smith Rowe, I thought he might have got more of a runout,” said Smith. “He’s a really talented lad. Somebody who can play in that number ten role.

“Surprised he hasn’t been given more minutes. He’s got the ability to create, to see a pass and Arsenal are badly lacking that at the moment.

“Not just tonight but this season. It’s good to see (Smith Rowe coming on as a substitute on 65 minutes).”

Arsenal have some really talented young players but Arteta has opted for experience more often than not this season.

Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images

The game was already gone by the time Smith Rowe came on last night.

Arsenal looked short on confidence and attacking threat for much of the game.

Gabriel Martinelli was the one bright spark and he was forced off shortly after half time with an injury.

The likes of Smith Rowe may wonder when their chance is ever going to come if they can’t get into the side while so many senior pros are underperforming.

But perhaps Arteta feels the current tricky situation is not one to throw young players into.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.