Wright spies ‘another problem’ for Arteta after Arsenal star’s display

Toby Bowles
Smith Rowe Arsenal Wright

Ian Wright believes Emile Smith Rowe’s cameo against Leeds United will provide a selection headache for Mikel Arteta after the 21-year-old failed to make the starting line-up in West Yorkshire.

Introduced in the 78th minute, he notched his seventh league goal of the campaign to secure a comfortable victory for the Gunners, after goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in the first half.

Smith Rowe also has two assists to his name this season but was benched for the third game running in favour of Martin Odegaard, who impressed at Elland Road.

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Speaking on Premier League productions, Wright said of Smith Rowe: “At the moment what he’s doing in brilliant.

“What you’re seeing with Emile Smith Rowe is ‘Ok I’m out of the team but when I come on, I don’t care if I’m getting two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, I’m going to get a chance, I’m going to make sure I score.’

“What he’s doing now, what he’s realised is that it’s about goals, it’s about end product.

“It’s something that he’s worked on and the manager’s wanted him to work on and now he’s showing the manager ‘Right if you put me on the bench I’m looking to score a goal.’

“He’s done it and given the manager another problem and that is exactly what you want.”

The win puts Arsenal on 32 points, consolidating their Champions League spot. Arteta said of the display: “It was a really tough week but really positive with performances and results. We must be happy today.

“They had to play the most physical team in the league and they had to be ready. We had a nightmare to come to the hotel.

“They [the young players] are learning and they’re making a difference in the game. The senior players are playing a big role too.

“That’s what he [Gabriel Martinelli] can do. He’s getting a level of maturity. He’s so willing to learn. His passion in life is football. You can see that on the pitch.

“[Emile Smith Rowe has scored] seven in the league which is a remarkable figure. We wanted him to add it to his game.”