Establishing himself as the name on everybody’s lips after impressing for Arsenal during their pre-season fixtures, Emile Smith-Rowe looks set to earn his senior debut for the Gunners in Thursday’s Europa League clash with Vorksla Poltava.
As identified by The Daily Star, the 18-year-old attacking midfielder was excluded from the Arsenal U23 squad to face Blackburn Rovers – which suggests that the teenager will be called upon for first-team duty this week.
Arsene Wenger used the Europa League campaign last year to rotate his squad and to hand opportunities to fringe players, which played a key part in the development of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson, and it appears that Emery is ready to do similar this term.
Utilising Smith-Rowe against Vorskla in the Europa League is no surprise and the teenager should be in line for a start in a number ten role, as it is highly unlikely that first-team regulars Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil feature.
Both are likely to be given a rest for the game and Smith-Rowe is the ideal replacement for Ozil, who opened his account for the season against Newcastle United, which would give the teenage talent an opportunity to prove himself.
With two goals in four Premier League 2 appearances this season and another goal to his name from the EFL Trophy win over Coventry City, Smith-Rowe certainly deserves his shot given his form and fans should be excited to see him in action.