Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah got sweet words from the boss after their performances against Dundalk. And the boss said Smith Rowe coped well with an unfamiliar position.
The 20-year-old academy graduate played 77 minutes in our 4-2 win in Dundalk and he bought a lot of energy to the left-flank where he combined well with wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
He got a goal against Rapid Vienna. Add that to this performance and it suddenly looks like he has a claim for appearances in the premier league.
In his post-game press conference, Arteta was asked about the midfielder’s performance and progress.
He replied: “He hasn’t played many games, he played in a position that doesn’t suit him perfectly for his qualities but you can see that every time he’s around the ball that something is going to happen.
“He has a lot of creativity, he’s a player that has the quality to receive the ball and do things in high-value spaces when things get open. He’s a threat and I’m really happy with his performance.”
Eddie got his fifth goal of the season versus Dundalk. The boss was asked if this means the striker will get more game time in the PL. In a spiky mood, he responded tearing down any claim that he hadn’t given the striker a lot of chances in the league.
“He has started [in the league] and he has the possibility to start again, as you said.
“He’s a goal threat, he’s a player that always is very close in every action around the box. He’s lively. He’s got the hunger and he’s only satisfied when he scores. So he’s an option, for sure.”