Emile Smith Rowe is hoping to play in the Europa League and the cup competitions this season, and aims to push for a Premier League debut, but knows he has to work hard to achieve those goals.
Smith Rowe has been making a great impression on the Arsenal supporters through pre-season so far. He scored against Atletico Madrid, assisted a goal against PSG and caught the eye against Boreham Wood as well.
Given he only turned 18 at the weekend, you’d think perhaps a loan move would be on the cards for next season. However, Smith Rowe insists he wants to fight for a place at Arsenal.
“My long-term goal is to get in the first team permanently,” he explained. “But this season it’s to try to get as many minutes as I can in the Europa League and cups, and hopefully make my Premier League debut.”
To do so, it’s clear the youngster will have to put a lot of work in, and he seems to be well aware of that.
“I like to keep my feet on the ground and keep my head down and work hard,” he said. “If I carry on doing that I don’t think the attention will get to me. I just have to keep working hard.”
One of the most daunting aspects of playing for the Arsenal first-team must be the fact you’re surrounded by internationally recognised superstars on the pitch for the first time. To go from starting with players in your own age group to people with 10 years or more of experience has to be a bit intimidating.
Fortunately, Smith Rowe says the senior stars at the club have made him feel welcome, particularly strike duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“All the players have been so welcoming,” the u17 World Cup winner revealed. “I know a couple of the young boys, I’ve played with them quite a lot. But to be with the older players and for them to be so welcoming is just great.
“I’ve trained with the senior team before but this is my only real chance that I’ve had so far. Lacazette and Aubameyang have looked out for me, they’re so funny and so welcoming.”
Let’s see if Smith Rowe can keep taking his chances in the final two pre-season matches against Chelsea and Lazio.