Defensive lessons aiding Smith Rowe’s development for Arsenal U23s

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Emile Smith Rowe has long been earmarked as a player with the potential to eventually make the breakthrough into the Arsenal first-team squad and this season he has taken a significant step towards achieving that objective as he has become increasingly involved with the U23s.

A winger with much flair and a penchant for scoring goals himself, Smith Rowe recently returned from India, where he helped England to win the U17 World Cup.

It is often the case that youngsters are given playing time in different positions to enhance various aspects of their game and that is the process that Smith Rowe is currently going through.

Against Porto in the Premier League International Cup last week Smith Rowe had a spell as a left wing-back after being brought on as a substitute, while in last night’s defeat to Swansea City in Premier League 2 the 17-year-old was deployed as a central midfielder.

Although he is tall, Smith Rowe certainly isn’t the strongest and he was outmuscled on several occasions against Swansea but he did manage to hold his own with the ball at his feet as he played some incisive forward passes.

Smith Rowe will hope to have fully established himself as an important part of the U23 side by the end of the campaign and the experience that he is currently gaining will be hugely beneficial for his overall development.

The first player born this millennium to represent both Arsenal U18s and U23s, Smith Rowe will hope to also achieve that feat for the first-team, although he faces competition in that regard from the likes of Tyreece John-Jules, Xavier Amaechi and Trae Coyle.

Smith Rowe’s game understanding is of a very high standard and he is capable of cutting inside from the left flank with excellent effect. Now it is hoped that he will become a more rounded player while not losing any of his attacking instincts.

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