Arsenal’s Hale End Academy has produced a number of high-profile graduates over the years. At any moment there are several young players there who have a chance at graduating to the first-team. Among them now is an English lad named Emile Smith Rowe.
Emile Smith Rowe Could Make an Impact Soon
The midfielder joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of ten, while his family lived in the south London borough of Croydon. The entire family made the move north to support the young man upon signing for the club.
Their faith in Emile Smith Rowe was repaid with his quick progression through the ranks.
The young man made his Arsenal U23 debut in the 2016/17 Premier League 2 campaign, at the age of 16. Smith-Rowe did enough to earn his first England youth cap for the U16s in that same season.
He continued with the U23s at Arsenal through the 2017/18 season, to go along with eight caps for the England U17 side, as they won the U17 World Cup last year.
Now, during the 2018/19 campaign, Emile Smith Rowe is being rewarded with not only an U18 international appearance but also a chance with the Arsenal first-team.
Professional Performances and Demeanor
Unai Emery thought enough of the young man to take him with the team on their pre-season tour of Singapore in the summer of 2018. Smith Rowe announced himself to Gooners with an exquisite goal against Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup.
The midfielder added an assist on the tour in a 5-1 dismantling of Paris Saint-Germain on his 18th birthday, just days later. Arsenal acted quickly to sign Emile Smith Rowe to professional terms later that summer, tying him to the club for a reported five years.
Such performances by such a young player turned heads, including that of Arsenal’s new U23 coach, Freddie Ljungberg. The Swede said of Smith Rowe,
“His presence and the way he behaves, for me he’s a role model for everyone at our club. The respect he shows people and then on the pitch he plays so well.
“If any young players want to look at how I think a player should behave they should look at him. With all the success he has got he is still as humble as he was before.”
Emile Smith Rowe didn’t have to wait long until his first competitive Arsenal match. In the first matchday of the team’s Europa League campaign, he came on for Alex Iwobi against Vorskla Poltava.
Then, in the same competition against Qarabag, the midfielder netted his first competitive goal. The two performances make him the first player born in the year 2000 to play for the club, as well as score for the club.
Emile Smith Rowe has also played twice in the Carabao Cup. In typical fantastic fashion, he managed a goal in his second match in the competition, in a 2-1 win over Blackpool.
Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey will leave the club in the summer for free unless a fee can be agreed upon with a potential suitor in January. With such a high-profile player leaving, many are asking who can replace the Welshman.
Both players occupy the same position on the pitch, and Smith Rowe seems miles ahead of others at his same age. Plus, no one can argue with two goals in four senior appearances to date.
Could Emile Smith Rowe be the perfect Aaron Ramsey replacement at Arsenal? Only time will tell, however, early signs look promising.
Embed from Getty Images