Emile Smith Rowe trained with the Arsenal first-team on Saturday, and the youngster could be set for his first Premier League minutes before the end of the campaign.
After giving everything to Thursday’s disappointing defeat, players like Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey and the injured Laurent Koscielny didn’t take part in training on Saturday. One player who did was Smith Rowe, after starring in Arsenal’s Youth Cup run.
The youngster is really impressing everyone at the club at the moment, and it seems only a matter of time before he gets chances. Jack Wilshere named the 17-year-old as one to watch during his appearance at the Youth Cup final on ITV.
No wonder, when you look at what he’s doing for the academy. For example, take a look at his spectacular run in the semi-final to win (and then convert) a penalty:
4-0, Emile Smith Rowe runs half the length of the pitch to win a penalty, which he then converts. pic.twitter.com/y6fgcPyfwa
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) April 16, 2018
His assist in the final was almost as impressive, cutting apart a Chelsea defence that hadn’t conceded a single goal in the tournament:
Arsenal u18s take the lead in the Youth Cup final against Chelsea.
Smith Rowe slides a lovely through ball in behind the defence and Amaechi finishes confidently.
It’s the first goal the Blues have conceded in the competition. pic.twitter.com/rDUFaj6KKJ
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) April 27, 2018
Unfortunately, even though that was the opening goal of the tie, it was also the only one Arsenal scored as they lost heavily. Even then, the turning point came when the manager substituted Smith Rowe. Before that, the team were still very much in the game.
If Smith Rowe is part of the first-team squad in the coming week, as it seems like he will be, he’ll have earned every minute. Hopefully he can make the most of the chance.