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Mikel Arteta shares the doubts he had over Emile Smith Rowe and if he could make it at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta shares the doubts he had over Emile Smith Rowe and whether the young Arsenal star had a big enough personality to be part of a Premier League dressing room

  •  Mikel Arteta reveals the doubts he had about Emile Smith Rowe at Arsenal 
  • The Spanish boss admits he wasn’t sure how he’d cope in the dressing room 
  • Calls Smith Rowe ‘very shy’ and credits loan spells as turning point for him 
  •  22-year-old was given the number 10 shirt and made his England bow in 2021

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that he initially had ‘doubts’ over Emile Smith Rowe and whether or not he had what it takes to be part of a Premier League dressing room. 

In the new Amazon ‘All of Nothing’ series, which centres around Arsenal’s 2021-22 Premier League season, Arteta speaks candidly about his first impressions of Smith Rowe and how he came across as a shy and reserved character, describing the young star by saying;

‘Emile, very shy, he wouldn’t make eye contact with you. I would say a little bit uncomfortable and insecure.’  

Emile Smith Rowe (second from the left) at the premiere of All of Nothing with his team-mates

Mikel Arteta reveals his harboured doubts over Smith Rowe and if he could cut it at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta reveals his harboured doubts over Smith Rowe and if he could cut it at Arsenal 

The Spanish manager shares his fears in new Amazon docu-series All or Nothing Arsenal

The Spanish manager shares his fears in new Amazon docu-series All or Nothing Arsenal 

The Gunners boss says that it was sending the Arsenal graduate on loan that was the making of Smith Rowe. Firstly to Germany and Bundesliga side RB Leipzig – where he struggled for games under Julian Naglesmann – and then to Championship outfit Huddersfield, which is where the attacker started to attract attention. 

Opening up on the idea to send the young star on loan, Arteta reveals his concerns over whether Smith Rowe could cope with the more senior and boisterous voices in the Gunners squad. 

 ‘When we sent him on loan, I said I’m only going to ask you… I’m not going to watch your games,’ the Arsenal boss added. ‘I only want to hear what people say, about you when you are there, and how they are going to describe you, not as a player, as a person.

‘Because as a player I don’t have any doubts that you can play for us. But can you cope with being in that dressing room? Can you cope with the pressure outside? I don’t know, so you better go there and impose yourself, and he really did.’ 

Smith Rowe's loan to Huddersfield proved to be a turning point for the attacker and his career

Smith Rowe’s loan to Huddersfield proved to be a turning point for the attacker and his career

The 22-year-old was given the famous Arsenal number 10 shirt at the start of last season

The 22-year-old was given the famous Arsenal number 10 shirt at the start of last season 

Since returning to The Emirates, the 22-year-old has established himself in Arteta’s side, so much so he was given the famous number 10 shirt at the beginning of last season. 

The Gunners star’s form also saw him earn a first England cap, coming on a substitute in the Three Lions 5-0 win over Albania in November before scoring his first goal in the 10-0 thrashing of San Marino days later. 

Arsenal fans may have to wait to see Smith Rowe in action this season, as the attacker is a doubt for their Premier League opener with Crystal Palace on Friday with a slight knock.  

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