Smith Rowe is the Future
It’s vital that Smith Rowe keeps his injuries under control. The fitness coaches have to monitor him accordingly, since niggling problems have been holding him back from earning consistent minutes.
Taken off after 65 minutes, it’s clear that Arteta wants to manage him properly, even potentially with an eye on starting him again against Brighton. Seeing what he can offer this Arsenal side in an attacking sense, it’d be a genuine surprise to see him drop out.
Up front there was Alexandre Lacazette, a striker with a penchant for coming short, so with Smith Rowe in the team lining up alongside someone whose preference is to run beyond, that opens up and entirely new angle of attack.
Lacazette played very well against the Blues, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the best striker Arsenal have. Playing to his strengths is paramount as he is the best provider of goals, and having someone of Smith Rowe’s ilk playing behind him is the logical next step to him recapturing his best form.
Arteta learned a lot after that Chelsea win. He’s tried his best to stick to his senior guns, a failed approach. Using those suited to the needs of this side will bear fruit. He now must have seen the light.
That doesn’t mean Smith Rowe should be starting every week, though. Managing his progress now he’s proved what he can offer is key. He is the future. Ensuring he is the long-term one and not just the short-term one is the next step.