Ainsley Maitland-Niles set up Emile Smith Rowe’s first goal of the season on Thursday night, and Arsenal fans picked up what he said afterwards.
Emile Smith Rowe hasn’t had many chances to play for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta so far. He went on loan to Huddersfield Town for the second half of last season, before suffering an injury setback at the start of this one.
After some games for the u23s and a cameo appearance away to Molde, Smith Rowe played his first minutes back at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday. He looked very comfortable out there and capped off another impressive substitute showing with a goal.
Fellow academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles set up the finish, and the TV microphones picked up what happened afterwards. Embracing Smith Rowe, Maitland-Niles said: “Welcome back, bro. Welcome back!”
You can hear the audio for yourself at 6:14 in the highlights package here. The Arsenal fans certainly enjoyed the moment.
Maitland-Niles telling Smith-Rowe “welcome back bro” ❤️❤️❤️
— Mark White (@markwhlte) December 3, 2020
Emile Smith Rowe makes it 4. Ainsley Maitland-Niles with the assist, tells him “welcome back” in the team hug celebration. You love to see it.
— The Socially Distanced Fuse (@TheShortFuse) December 3, 2020
“Welcome back.” Maitland-Niles to Smith-Rowe 😢😢😭😭😭
— Michael McKay (@LABMcKay) December 3, 2020
Maitland niles saying “welcome back bro, welcome back.” Warms my heart ❤
— #FreeBalogun🎗 (@AfcRoo) December 3, 2020
Maitland Niles to ESR “Welcome back bro, Welcome back” 💉💉
— Rowe (@JordanRowes) December 3, 2020
Maitland Niles saying “welcome back bro” to ESR. Fuck me i love that guy❤️❤️
— Heineke (@HeinekeKristian) December 3, 2020
Maitland-Niles and the Arsenal fans weren’t the only ones who liked what they saw from Smith Rowe. Former Leicester City defender posted a message to the player on Twitter.
@emilesmithrowe well played bro. Serious serious baller 👏🏽
— Danny Simpson (@dannysimpson) December 3, 2020
We can only hope Mikel Arteta took notice of the performance and gives the 20-year-old further chances in the coming weeks.