Mikel Arteta admits he can’t wait to work with Emile Smith Rowe, and he thinks the teenager’s loan spell at Huddersfield Town helped him mature.
Emile Smith Rowe completed his loan spell with Huddersfield Town earlier in the week, and it’s a spell Mikel Arteta was keeping a close eye on.
The teenager made 19 appearances for a struggling Huddersfield side, contributing to five goals from a fairly deep position in midfield. The Town fans were certainly big fans of the Arsenal academy graduate.
Given Arsenal’s creative problems in midfield, it’s not impossible to imagine Smith Rowe coming back and having an impact next season. Arteta is certainly talking like it’s a real possibility.
“He’s a player with very specific qualities to play in those pockets in that position as an attacking midfielder,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “I’m excited to work with him. I have been talking with him and I have followed him during his spell on loan.
“I think he’s someone who can be pretty impressive. I’m pleased by what I’ve seen from him. He needed that exposure and he looks more mature now. I think he will be in a much better place when he comes back in pre-season.”
That’s when Smith Rowe will really need to make his case, of course. It’s great that he had a positive loan spell, particularly in avoiding any serious injury problems, but he needs to make his case when he’s back with the Arsenal squad.
If he has a strong pre-season, there’s certainly the potential for starts in 2020/21.