Ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, Emile Smith Rowe will arguably be doing his upmost to make sure he’s part of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal starting line-up, and that’s where he belongs according to a former Gunners legend.
Despite receiving rave reviews over his performances throughout last season, Smith Rowe was never really given an extended run in the side within which to prove he was the real deal.
That has got to change now according to Michael Thomas.
“ESR is definitely growing as a player and in character but I still think he needs some more game time with Arsenal and his progression needs to be managed carefully,” he told CaughtOffside.
“Also, having the players is all well and good but if they’re not going to play in the system the manager wants then it won’t matter.”
Given how poorly Arsenal performed throughout 2020/21, peppering the gloom with occasional five-star performances, the youngster wasn’t able to persuade the Spaniard to consistently allow him minutes at the sharp end.
Though there’s no suggestion that Smith Rowe is looking to force the issue or wants to move on, it does Arteta no favours whatsoever having such an exciting talent stuck on the bench week-in and week-out.
The manager is skating on thin ice as it is, and the decisions he makes over the next few weeks could author how Arsenal end up doing during the course of the upcoming campaign.