Emile Smith Rowe has been involved in the first team since the club’s pre-season tour of Singapore in 2018 and even scored during the Gunners’ 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid. After signing a professional contract with the club days later, he was described by manager Unai Emery as a player with “lots of potential“. The youngster was reported to have signed a five-year deal but this was not confirmed by the club.
Smith Rowe, 19, made his debut for Arsenal last season during his side’s Europa League clash against Vorskla Poltava and he became the first Arsenal debut by a player born in the 2000s. He then went on to start against Qarabag in the next matchday and scored during Arsenal’s 3-0 win, becoming the second-youngest goal scorer in a competitive match for the club.
The youngster is naturally a right-sided attacking midfielder who likes to run at defenders and get crosses into the box from wide positions. His creativity and decision making will be critical for Arsenal moving forward, as the first team has lacked this essential team characteristic for some time.
He’s had a good start to the season in Premier League 2, with one goal in four games for the U23s and continues to knock on the door for more first-team starts, particularly in the Premier League.
Like his teammate Bukayo Saka, Smith Rowe has a similar career path in terms of the position they currently find themselves in training with the first team daily. The 19-year-old was unfortunate not to be selected to start at Old Trafford but Emery has been very impressed with the progression of the youngster. Training alongside the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will transform him into a better player.