Emile Smith Rowe was part of U17 squad that won the world cup in 2017, alongside with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Calum Hudson-Odoi.
However, the midfielder’s career has not taken off compared to the others mentioned above largely due to injury. Recently, he found his way back into the team and he has been impressive.
Mikel Arteta was asked about the midfielder ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Newcastle, and admits he has huge potential.
“He has a huge potential,” said the manager. “He really wants it and he has the personality when he goes on the field to express himself and play the way he can play.
“To do it in a consistent way is a different thing, the boys that you mentioned [Sancho, Foden], they’ve done it.
“It’s true that they are ahead in their development phase because they’ve played many more minutes and games in the last two season but he’s capable of doing that.
“Whether he’s going to do it will depend on how he continues to develop, how he takes the chances that he has in front of him and then how much we can help him to achieve that.”
Smith Rowe’s put in
“I expected what I wanted for that game, and that’s it,” he said.
“You have question marks, of course because he hasn’t done it at that level and in that calibre of a game.
“But you see the potential and I, and the coaching staff, really liked what we had been saying so we decided to make the decision and it worked.
“He earned the right to play the next game [against Brighton] and he did it again and he earned the right to play the following game [against West Brom].
“I think we have to go game-by-game in general. I think with individuals and young talent, even more so.
“Sometimes you need to give them a little bit of a breather and protect them like we had to do with Gabri [Martinelli].
“He didn’t play for seven months and he could not play three games in a row in seven days, it was too much for him.”
Arteta is tipped to rotate his squad for the cup tomorrow, and it might well be a sign of how well Smith Rowe has done that he might sit this one out to make sure he’s ready for the clash with Crystal Palace next Thursday.