Arsenal opinion: Gunners should loan out Emile Smith Rowe
According to The Independent, Arsenal are looking to send promising youngster Emile Smith Rowe out on loan, with the report claiming that Bundesliga side Wolfsburg have entered the race to sign the 18-year-old this summer.
RB Leipzig, where Smith Rowe was on loan in the second half of the previous season, are also interested even though the youngster played only 28 minutes of Bundesliga football the last term due to a groin problem.
Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig are not the only clubs who are circling to sign Smith Rowe on loan for the upcoming campaign, with The Independent suggesting that a number of Premier League and Championship clubs are keen to tempt the youngster away from North London with the promise on regular minutes.
An unnamed La Liga club has also been named in the potential shortlist of suitors for the talented 18-year-old, who is currently on the treatment table to nurse an injury.
The Independent understands that Arsenal are unlikely to make a call over his potential destination next season before he returns to training from the sidelines.
A part of the England U-17 side that won the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup in India, Smith Rowe enjoyed his breakthrough in Arsenal’s senior team in the previous campaign, having impressed on the pre-season tour of Singapore.
Held in high regard by the coaches in the club’s youth system, the 18-year-old was handed a five-year deal by the Gunners prior to the start of the 2018-19 season.
As a matter of fact, Unai Emery showed a lot of confidence in the promising and versatile attacking midfielder, handing him his senior competitive debut against Vorskla Poltava in the group stages of the Europa League.
Smith Rowe’s name went into the history books with that appearance, as it was the first Arsenal professional debut by a player born in the 2000s.
That wasn’t the only record that he managed to create, though, with his goal in the following group stage fixture against Qarabag making him the first player born in the 2000s to score for Arsenal.
In fact, Smith Rowe’s goal in the 3-0 victory made him the youngest player to score for Arsenal in a competitive fixture since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011.
The 18-year-old, who played out wide on either side of the pitch and also through the centre in a No.10 role for the Gunners last season, not only featured prominently in Arsenal’s Europa League group stage campaign but he also scored in the 2-1 victory over Blackpool in the EFL Cup.
Smith Rowe sealed a deadline day loan move to RB Leipzig in January, with a view to furthering his development with more exposure and regular first-team minutes.
Things, however, didn’t quite go according to plan for the youngster and an injury prevented him from capitalising on a bright start to his senior professional career.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal’s decision to ship him out on loan this summer certainly makes a lot of sense, given that Smith Rowe is still very in his formative years and he needs to play regularly to work on th flaws in his game.
Keeping that in mind, it would be better for him to go out on loan and further his development elsewhere rather than spending time on the periphery of the first-team at North London.
As talented as he is, it is unlikely that Emery has the 18-year-old in his plans as a regular starter for the upcoming season and a move to the Bundesliga would certainly do him a world of good. Arsenal would need to ensure that Smith Rowe is properly handled, no matter where he goes out on loan.
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Constantly sitting on the sidelines and warming the benches won’t work in favour of his development. Thus, Arsenal need to look for clubs who are prepared to have him as a part of their first-team plans for the upcoming campaign.