Mikel Arteta tips Emile Smith Rowe to play ‘very well’ in the No 9 role as Arsenal boss praises home-grown star’s versatility in wake of the Gunners’ victory over Brentford
- Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe scored in the 2-1 victory against Brentford
- Smith Rowe has fulfilled a number of different roles for Mikel Arteta’s team
- And now the Gunners boss has floated the idea of Smith Rowe playing up front
- Arsenal currently have Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as natural No 9s
Mikel Arteta has floated the idea of Emile Smith Rowe playing as a No 9 for Arsenal and believes the home-grown star could play ‘very very well’ in that position.
The Arsenal attacking midfielder scored the Gunners’ first goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Brentford, his ninth Premier League goal of the season.
The 21-year-old has already showed himself capable of fulfilling a number of different attacking roles and Arteta has now tipped Smith Rowe to play up front if required.
Mikel Arteta (L) has floated the idea of Emile Smith Rowe playing as a No 9 for Arsenal (R)
The Arsenal attacking midfielder scored the Gunners’ first goal in Saturday’s win vs Brentford
The Gunners boss said of Smith Rowe: ‘He can play as a left winger, he can play as a left attacking midfielder, right attacking midfielder and he can play as a nine — very, very well I think.’
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left last month for Barcelona, the Gunners have two senior No 9 options in Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
But Arteta’s comments raises the prospect of the Arsenal manager trialling Smith Rowe in the role of central striker.
Meanwhile, Arteta has also hinted that Martin Odegaard could be the next permanent captain after hailing the determination of the Norway international.
Arteta explained: ‘We had a period with him where we could evaluate what Martin could bring to the club.
Arteta has also hinted that Martin Odegaard could become the next Arsenal captain
‘We had no doubts. The club was brilliant to secure him in a really convincing way. Martin was really happy to join us because he had a really good time, he felt valued, he enjoyed what we are doing, he got a really good connection with the players and the supporters.
‘He wanted to be part of the project. Since then he is getting better and better, and I am not surprised.
‘The way he lives his profession, the way he likes to play football and everything he does is to become better.
‘He has still a big margin. He wants it probably more than anyone else on that pitch, every single day. He will be top, top.’