Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe is impressing so far during his loan spell at Championship side Huddersfield.
The 18 year old had a sterling performance last night as the Terriers won 2-1 against Bristol City – creating a goal for former young Gunner Chris Willock (brother of Joe), and wining a second half penalty.
Smith Rowe drew praise afterwards from manager Danny Cowley, who said, “Emile is just a really lovely player, isn’t he?” said Cowley.
“He has that ability to find space; he could find space in a telephone box; he speeds the play up for you and draws and commits and I think it would have been a brilliant performance if he had scored.
“I am always going to be demanding of him because, to me, he is a Premier League player so I have to treat him like that and demand Premier League standards from him – in training and in games, day in and day out.
“It was a really good performance.”
Cowley is taking things slowly with the midfielder though, ensuring he doesn’t overplay him despite the fact his side are in a relegation scrap and in need of as much quality as possible.
“It’s not easy being a manager because at the moment he’s not ready to play the three-game week, so we had to be really cautious on Saturday,” he continued.
“That wasn’t nice because you want him to play because even as a manager you enjoy watching performances like that and you know you’re going to get criticised a lot when you don’t play him – because the supporters are going to be frustrated – so we have to manage him at the moment.
“He obviously had a loan at Leipzig last year and picked up an injury and maybe there was a consideration that they didn’t quite manage his minutes and his load and the periodisation of his training.
“So we’re being very careful and cautious and protective because we know if we can get him on the pitch more often than not he’s going to be a very good player for us.”
It sounds like he’s having a good impact there, and let’s hope he can continue to do so between now and May, helping Huddersfield to avoid the drop – which might even go some way to seeing Stoke relegated.