Emile Smith Rowe finished a stunning counter-attack to fire England under-21s to a narrow victory over Andorra as the young Three Lions continue their pursuit for European Championship qualification.
Arsenal’s number ten featured on the left-wing in a 4-3-3 and guided Lee Carsley’s side to third in their group as he sent Mikel Arteta a message, showing his versatility to play a variety of position.
Smith Rowe has now impressed this season as a winger, number ten and as an advanced eight in the Gunners’ midfield three but the 21-year-old has now been warned he must lockdown a position to better his chances of winning valuable minutes for club and country.
The Hale End graduate has been told to eye a future on the left-wing in light of his recent success there, which would subsequently relieve Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of his duties as a wide player reverting back to a number nine.
The Arsenal Way writers Bailey Keogh and Jake Stokes along with multimedia editor Guy Clarke delved deeper into where Smith Rowe’s best position is for Arsenal as the creative technician is told to start cementing his designated role by trade, live on The Arsenal Way.
Stokes kicked off the debate by noting his admiration for the attacking midfielder before going on to explain how he was initially worried that Martin Odegaard’s arrival would hamper his opportunities in the number ten position.
“I’m a massive fan of Smith Rowe, I think he is an unreal footballer; he’s so good on the ball, he picks up some great spaces and some great positions,” he began.
“But, at the start of the season I was thinking that he might lose his chance to play with Odegaard coming into the side and Odegaard is coming to play, not to just fill in here and there so, initially, I was a little bit worried.”
Stokes then added that he’s been surprised at how well Smith Rowe has done on the left-wing and that he can cement that position by emulating the success of Jack Grealish at Aston Villa, who also enjoys roaming into pockets of space inside off the left channels.
“Now that I’m seeing Smith Rowe play on the wing a little bit more, gliding inside off the left-wing in that Grealish role from when he was at Villa, drifting inside into those left pockets of space suit Smith Rowe really well.”
Stokes then concluded before Clarke had his say by shining a light on how Smith Rowe’s deceiving pace debunks the notion that he isn’t quick and should therefore be accepted as a wide player.
“Smith Rowe is quicker,” he said. “As deceiving as it is, he is quick. There’s a notion whereby some fans think that wingers have to be quick and some may think he isn’t quicker because he doesn’t look quick, but he is quick. I’d love to see Smith Rowe on the left more, definitely.”
Clarke agreed that Smith Rowe’s best position is on the left too and added that the midfielder’s low socks and silkiness on the ball reminded him of former Gunner Alexander Hleb.
“I agree with Jake and Smith Rowe reminds me of Hleb with the socks down and silky nature of what he’s about and like Jake said, deceivingly quick too,” he said, before expressing his biggest worry with the Hale End graduate.
“My big conern around Smith Rowe was that he wasn’t going to get the output that Arsenal would need to get them to the next level.
“He’s a player who does look very good but when the pressure hits to produce those numbers week in, week out, will he be that player?
“And, I have to say so far this season he’s proven he can and blown me away. He’s someone who can have an Arsenal future for a very long time.”
Where do you think Smith Rowe is best positioned? Let us know in the comments!
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Source by Football London