Arsenal news: Mark Hudson raves over Emile Smith-Rowe's progress

Arsenal prospect Emile Smith-Rowe

Emile Smith-Rowe's outstanding performance against Newcastle United on Monday night was rather fitting in a week in which Mesut Ozil edged closer towards the Arsenal exit door.

As one chapter comes to an end another begins. Mikel Arteta has been attempting to resolve a glaring creativity issue in his side for large periods of the season, and he seems to have identified a solution in Smith-Rowe. 

While many will criticise Arteta for failing to introduce the 20-year-old technician into the team earlier, others will praise his patience and timing. 

Since Smith-Rowe was introduced into the starting XI, the Gunners have won four of their last five Premier League games, scoring eleven and conceding one during that period.

On Monday evening he was in fine fettle, weaving beyond defenders, drifting into pockets of space and a constant outlet for his teammates. 

The assist he provided for Bukayo Saka to notch Arsenal's killer second goal crowned another outstanding display from a player who only turned 20 last July. 

Given the natural intrigue in unproven academy prospects and the lofty standards he has set in the past four weeks, Smith-Rowe is the talk of north London right now. 

Before breaking into the senior squad at Arsenal, Smith-Rowe endured a tricky loan stint with RB Leipzig before enjoying a rather more fruitful experience closer to home with Championship side Huddersfield Town. 


In light of the youngster's rise to prominence, one of his former coaches, namely Mark Hudson, spoke to Sky Sports about his progress, underlined where Smith-Rowe likes to play and tipped him for a bright future in the game.

"He can make those forward runs so he can break beyond the striker and play either side. He can drift into pockets on the left or the right, he is not just pigeon-holed in one position," said Hudson.

"He would prefer to play in the centre but we played him off the left a couple of times. If you have a system with a wide-left player who comes in as a second 10 he can do that. If you are playing in a 4-3-3 and are looking for a No 8 stroke No 10 he can do that too.

"I watched the game against Crystal Palace and he was one of their best players on the pitch. He makes excellent runs. He has the ability to run beyond the front man into clever little pockets down the sides. He made three or four of those runs.

"He is growing into it and Arsenal are trusting him to do that. He has been coming on leaps and bounds. That is testament to him.

"Emile is going to be a very good player."

It's no surprise to see one of Smith-Rowe's former coaches waxing lyrical about his progress and the cleverness of his movement. 

While on loan at the John Smith's Stadium, the exciting playmaker bagged two goals and provided three assists in 13 starts, and it seems his experience in the Championship has aptly prepared him for the demands of top flight football.

If the initial prognosis is anything to go by, Smith-Rowe is bound to add to his return of five goals and as many assists in all competitions before the season is out. 

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