Mikel Arteta has discussed the ‘different qualities’ Emile Smith Rowe can bring to his Arsenal team after the midfielder’s return to the starting side.
Smith Rowe made his first start of the campaign during the 1-0 win at Brentford in the Carabao Cup, having featured for just one minute in the Premier League so far this season.
The 23-year-old failed to start a Premier League game last season after a challenging return from a spell out injured, but Arteta is confident that the academy graduate can provide his team with something different when he regains rhythm.
“Yeah, he’s very vertical. You see when he’s running with the ball, the capacity he’s got in short spaces, his arriving in the box,” Arteta said at his post-match press conference.
“He’s got different qualities to do that as an attacking midfielder. It’s great to have him. We need him at his best. Now he’s starting to get some rhythm and minutes which is great for the team.”
On Smith Rowe’s performance at Brentford, Arteta said: “I think he had really good moments in the first half and the game was much easier for him with the way he was developing with his qualities.
“But then with the game we started to play after five or 10 minutes in the second half, he was more struggling. Physically, he’s still not ready for 90 minutes.”