After the enjoyment of the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, the conversation around Arsenal turned to creativity following the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday.
The Gunners dominated possession 69% – 31%, but failed to muster a single shot on target.
It spoke to a creative deficiency in Mikel Arteta’s squad, and ahead of next season the Arsenal boss has singled out Emile Smith Rowe as someone who can help the team improve in that area.
He’ll return after a successful loan spell with Huddersfield where he demonstrated his quality and potential, and the manager sees him as the kind of player who can make a difference.
“He’s a player with very specific qualities to play in those pockets in that position as an attacking midfielder,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“I am excited to work with him. I have been talking with him and I have followed him during his spell on loan. I think he’s someone who can be pretty impressive.
“I’m pleased by what I’ve seen from him. He needed that exposure and he looks more mature now.
“I think he will be in a much better place when he comes back in pre-season.”
Having played in Arsenal teams with plenty of craft and creativity, the Spaniard is keen to address the gap in the squad, citing some of his former teammates as the kind of player he needs.
“Look at the players that we had in the past at this club in those positions,” he continued.
“You go back to Cazorla, to Rosicky, to Arshavin when he played there, to Ramsey when he played there, to Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time.
“That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore.
“They are a big part of what any squad needs.”