What Does the Future Hold for Emile Smith Rowe? A Midfield Role, Maybe by Sam
The arrival of Leandro Trossard more than a week ago altered the dynamics of Arsenal’s attack. His arrival has undoubtedly put an end to any concerns about Arteta’s attack. In any case, one might wonder where Trossard will be seen most often in an Arsenal shirt. We saw him play from the left wing against Manchester United, and he also did so in the FA Cup against Manchester City.
For the time being, Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli are expected to fill in at left wing. If that is the case, what happens to Emile Smith-Rowe, who has been an option for Arsenal’s left winger for the last two seasons?
Smith Rowe and Martinelli were battling for Arsenal’s left wing, which Martinelli appeared to have won, making Smith Rowe his backup. With Trossard in the picture, Smith Rowe may struggle to find a role in the attack. So, what happens next for Emile Smith-Rowe?
Arteta may reintroduce Emile Smith-Rowe as an attacking midfielder, according to Four Four Two’s Mark White. Smith-Rowe burst onto the scene as an attacking midfielder. Notably, it was assumed that when Odegaard was acquired, the two would compete for the same number, but Arteta chose not to have that battle, instead shifting Smith-Rowe to the left wing.
Smith Rowe, according to White, may be given a role in midfield, but not as Odegaard’s backup, but rather to play in Xhaka’s position alongside Odegaard in the double-number 8 midfield set-up that Arsenal has been using this season.
“Smith Rowe still has everything needed to make it as a good midfielder. His close control is excellent; he drives forward with purpose; he can arrive late in the box; and his ball-striking is excellent,” he writes in his FFT column. “Watch Granit Xhaka this season, roaming, creating, and scoring plenty: That’s exactly the role that ESR was born to play.”
On a good day, Smith-Rowe can be a handful for opponents, and his return to midfield could see him reclaim his magic. This tactical shift will undoubtedly help his development. Xhaka has been excellent this season, but at 30, he needs a long-term replacement.
Developing Smith-Rowe to be his successor could save Arsenal millions in transfer fees.
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