Mikel Arteta details Arsenal plan for Emile Smith Rowe to unlock “huge potential”
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Mikel Arteta insists Emile Smith Rowe will be given the minutes he needs to develop into a talent comparable to Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden.
Smith Rowe, 20, began the season playing for Arsenal's Under-23s but has nailed down a starting role with the first team over the last month.
The midfielder has shone in the No.10 role, picking up two assists in three Premier League games before scoring the vital deciding goal in the 2-0 FA cup victory over Newcastle.
And Gunners boss Arteta sees no reason why Smith Rowe cannot emulate the rapid rise of his fellow English starlets Sancho and Foden.
Smith Rowe put Arsenal ahead in the second half of extra time
(Image: Getty Images)
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"He has huge potential," said Arteta. "He really wants it and he has the personality when he goes on the field to express and play the way he can play.
"To do it in a consistent way is a different thing. The boys that you mentioned, they’ve done it.
"It’s true that they’re ahead in their development phase because they’ve played many more minutes and games in the last two seasons.
The midfielder has excelled in recent Premier League outings
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
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"But he is capable of doing that. Whether he’s going to do it will depend on how he continues to develop, how he takes the chance that he has in front of him and how much we can help him to achieve that.
"A lot of things have happened to him in the past year. He needs to establish himself here, he needs to be successful here, he needs to really find his role and his position in the team and in the club.
Smith Rowe is one of a number of exciting prospects at the Emirates
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
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"That will help him to have a clear path. We really believe in him. He needs to have no fear and go for it, because he has the quality."
Arteta heaped more praise on Smith Rowe after he came off the bench to score a 109th-minute goal in the third-round victory over Newcastle.
He said: “It means we believe in Smith Rowe. He is doing well, growing and becoming important in the team.
"The personality he plays with, we ask him to be more of a threat in the box and he scored an important goal for us.
“In difficult moments for young players to step in like this is not easy. They need experience around them. We have a great mixture.
"We can't put too much responsibility on them. We have the talent and the right characters which is healthy and promising for the future."
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