Emile Smith Rowe caught the eye on Wednesday night, as Freddie Ljungberg’s side achieved a third straight victory, winning 3-0 against Coventry City.
Ljungberg was technically in charge of the Arsenal u21s on Wednesday, rather than the u23s, but that had no impact on the squad he selected for the match. Deyan Iliev (23) was still eligible to play, since he’s a goalkeeper. The team had the option to field three outfield players over 21 as well, but they didn’t have any need to utilise that option.
As a result, the only outfield changes from the u23s’ win over Tottenham were Zech Medley coming in for Daniel Ballard and Robbie Burton replacing Xavier Amaechi. Ballard was away with Northern Ireland on international duty, and there’s no news yet on Amaechi’s absence.
Smith Rowe gave the young Gunners the lead in the fourth minute, and shone all night. He came close to scoring again in the first half and found space well all game.
Then Eddie Nketiah entered proceedings, and did what he always does, scoring to make it 2-0 with 13 minutes to go. Joe Willock gave the scoreline an even more comprehensive look with a third in the 90th minute.
Smith Rowe continues to make a case for himself at youth level, after his impressive pre-season with the Gunners. He’s yet to make an appearance in Arsenal’s senior squad competitively, but three goals in five youth games from midfield must put him in the frame for the club’s upcoming Europa League and League Cup fixtures.
Similarly Eddie Nketiah must be expecting to play a part when Vorskla and Brentford visit the Emirates Stadium. We’ll have to wait and see what head coach Unai Emery decides.