Help Must Arrive for Emile Smith Rowe
If before the Chelsea match took place the question was asked whether Arsenal could survive the season without a creative addition in January, not one soul would’ve nodded in agreement.
Three matches later, and Smith Rowe has suddenly seen those plans shelved. Arsenal fans are an easily enamoured bunch, not least when it’s Hale End involved. And, in an ideal world, if Smith Rowe could stay fit (big if) for the rest of the season, then rather than acquiring a second or third-choice option in January, waiting until the summer for the target who will benefit the long-term wouldn’t be too disheartening.
But it’s too much of a risk to take.
"“At this moment in time Arsenal see Smith Rowe ideally as being back up support, competition for a world class number 10,” Ornstein said. “Filling in where necessary, learning off of them and eventually succeeding them.”"
Smith Rowe’s Gunners career is only in its infancy. While the feeling within the club is that he will become a fully fledged Premier League starter in the long-term, the reason he is playing now is down to him being the only option available. If there was a prime 2014 Mesut Ozil kicking about, he wouldn’t be in the team.
That is not to say he hasn’t deserved his place. Far from it.
However, Arsenal need bodies in that area. Established, top-level ones at that. Some of the names they’re looking for in this window are on their list, but far from the number one candidates they’re looking for.
Nobody can be blamed for jumping on the hype train without a ticket: Smith Rowe is a wonderful talent and will continue to be one for years to come. Realism has to come into play, though.
Obtaining said ‘world class No. 10’ is what will prove trickiest of all. Firstly since money is tight, secondly as there aren’t many available and finally because they need to be the right profile of person, not just player, that will fit in the group and be someone that Smith Rowe can thrive under.
What we can be certain of is that Smith Rowe will play an integral part of Arsenal over the coming seasons and beyond. He’s earned it, it’s just about nurturing him accordingly.