Emile Smith Rowe got his first start in the Premier League for the season and, while he didn’t win Man of the Match, his performance impressed many.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Emile Smith Rowe, Alexandre Lacazette, and Hector Bellerin after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Emile Smith Rowe, Alexandre Lacazette, and Hector Bellerin after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers – Pool/Getty Images)

Whether or not the senior stars have downed tools for Mikel Arteta, Covid exposure forced his hand against Chelsea and Arsenal were richly rewarded with a 3-1 win, that could have been more, largely thanks to the energy of youth.

In the middle, Emile Smith Rowe was finally handed a chance and he didn’t disappoint, grabbing an assist and generally showing that he should be in the Spain squad for the Euros ahead of Dani ‘he touched me, I’m dying’ Ceballos’. Yes, I know Smith Rowe isn’t Spanish, that’s not the point I’m making.

Anyway, Smith Rowe is averaging a goal involvement every 52 minutes this season which, for a side struggling to score (at least until they played Chelsea) would be a massive add to the team.

For the record, while Sky Sports made Bukayo Saka their Man of the Match, Fotmob found that ESR was the MotM statistically.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.