Since Emile Smith Rowe came into the Arsenal team against Chelsea back in late December, Mikel Arteta’s have looked rejuvenated in the Premier League.
The Gunners have picked up an impressive haul of 16 points from a possible 18, with the only blip coming in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at home.
The north London side will face a serious test of their credentials however, when they take on Manchester United at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men still smarting from that surprise home defeat to Sheffield United.
But whilst the Gunners have had some good news on the transfer front with Martin Odegaard’s arrival on loan from Real Madrid, Arteta simply cannot give into the temptation of throwing the Norwegian into the deep end, and instead continue to trust in Smith Rowe.
Speaking on The Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said: “Emile Smith Rowe has come in and been a revelation. They needed someone to light the flame, give them that spark.
“He’s an academy boy and you can see he’s doing a great job, the fans love him. I hope with Odegaard coming into the club, that doesn’t stop him being instrumental in what they’re doing. But I’ve been so impressed with him, I love his work ethic, I love the way he runs with the ball, he’s been a breath of fresh air for this team, exactly when they needed it.”
The 6 foot starlet has picked up three assists in his last six games in the Premier League, and as Redknapp says, has added that bit of youthful energy the Gunners were crying out for before the Chelsea game.
United might be one of Arsenal’s most difficult games of the season, but Smith Rowe has done more than enough to keep his place in the team. And given how he’s changed the landscape for the Gunners since his introduction into the first-team, he could have a similar transformative effect when Solskjaer’s side arrive tonight.