Arsenal starlet Emile Smith Rowe has revealed that he prefers operating as a central attacking-midfielder, but admits he will play anywhere because of his love for the club.
The midfielder, who has burst onto the scene in recent months with a string of fine performances, has made the admission after being deployed on the left-wing during the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped from the starting line-up because of disciplinary issues, meaning Alexandre Lacazette spearheaded the attack, Smith Rowe was deployed out wide in Aubameyang’s absence.
But despite his lack of minutes in a wide role this season, the youngster, who has been called up to the England Under-21 squad this week, did not fail to impress, consistently linking up with left-back Kieran Tierney down the left flank and causing endless problems for Matt Doherty and Gareth Bale.
Despite his impressive showing against Jose Mourinho’s side, Smith Rowe has admitted that he does see himself as a more centralised player, playing in the No.10 role, but has admitted that he can play anywhere because it is “good to be versatile.”
“I see myself as a No.10, on the inside,” Smith Rowe told the Mail. “But at the same time, because of the way we play at Arsenal, if I am on the wing then the manager is telling me to drift inside and be natural like a No 10 anyway.
“I’m happy to play anywhere, you know? I’m an Arsenal fan. I’ll play wherever I’m needed and it’s good to be versatile.
It’s a habit for me to come inside if I’m on the left wing. That’s also good for KT [Tierney] because he can then get high and wide.”
As outlined above, Smith Rowe and Tierney caused endless troubles for Tottenham down the left last weekend, a route that paid dividends in Martin Odegaard being able to cancel out Erik Lamela’s opener to bring Arsenal level.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.
We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.
And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Now, Smith Rowe has admitted that he and Tierney have a very good relationship and that the Scot is a “warrior” in the Gunners’ armoury.
“We tried to get the ball down there as much as we could against Tottenham,” added the England Under-21 international. “Me and KT have such a good bond. We worked on it in training and were both buzzing after the game.
“KT is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet but at the same time, he’s such a warrior. He’s a player who’s got everyone’s back and always wants to win.”