Having spent the majority of last season on loan in Germany, Emile Smith Rowe didn’t quite have the impact he may have hoped for. His spell with RB Leipzig was a fairly forgettable one, with niggling injuries restricting him to just three appearances in the Bundesliga totalling 26 minutes of football.
This summer saw him remain at the Emirates, and having fully recovered from lingering injury problems, he made the starting line-up against Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday night. And the 19-year-old duly took his chance to shine.
As per Sofascore, the starlet’s 7.0 match rating was only bettered by goal-scorers Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette, and when looking at his underlying numbers it is easy to see why. The teenager had 57 touches of the ball, completed all three of his attempted dribbles, and showed his defensive tenacity too by winning five ground duels. And after watching his display, Arsenal fans flooded to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the academy gradate.
Really like this display from ESR so far. Quick on the turn, and quick to drive into the space. Works very hard off the ball too. He’ll be a goal scoring #10. Imagine Martinelli #9 with Smith Rowe behind someday. Our pressing will be
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) 12 December 2019
Totally agree mate there’s a lot of Van de Beek about Smith Rowe.
Leipzig we mad for him going back and they know talent when they see it.
— Robin Hartley (@RobinHartley67) 12 December 2019
Emile Smith-Rowe is going to the very top
— GoonerViews (@GoonerViews) 13 December 2019
Emile Smith Rowe dropping another 10/10 performance on the wings last night. Love to see it.
— The name can be blank. (@_GodWhen) 13 December 2019
Exactly this. If he can stay fit we have no other player like him
— AFCMAC (@AFCMAC1) 12 December 2019
A couple of fans even compared Smith Rowe to some of Arsenal’s former stars like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, both of whom were key performers in the Gunners’ midfield over the past few seasons.
Yeah, a big whack of the Wilshere about him!
— Kildare Gunner (@KildareGunner) 12 December 2019
The new Rambo
— Brando (@brandoinwords) 12 December 2019
A few supporters of the north London side urged for him to be given a chance in the first-team in the near future, with a couple even suggesting that he could take over from Mesut Ozil.
I personally think Emile Smith Rowe needs a run in the first team. He looks to have something special.
— ali (@AliGez_) 13 December 2019
Smith-Rowe looks fully over his injuries now.
Play him instead of Ozil or loan him from the start of January.
— WG (@GrantAFC80) 12 December 2019
Loved ESR today. Top quality talent. Needs to eventually take over from Ozil this season.
— Peppermint Butler (@naphtrax) 12 December 2019
If Smith Rowe can keep the injuries at bay, then he stands a real chance of really nailing down a place in the Arsenal team. With Ozil not getting any younger, the chance is there for one of Arsenal’s abundance of young talents to state their claims to becoming the side’s new number ten. And based on his performance against Liege, the 19-year-old has the talent to do so.