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.”

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Fatgooner

No!!! Don’t tell me that we’re gonna solve a major problem by bringing back a kid from Huddersfield! I like ESR but is he the answer to our problems?

Get the check book out, Stan!! We need TOP QUALITY in midfield!!!

Tómas

Who said anything about him being the answer to our problems? If we have someone who can potentially help us we might as well use him.

Rob67

Normally I agree with you. But not in this instance. I would much rather see us given ESR a chance to shine – as I think he will. Much better that then blowing a huge chunk of our (non) budget on someone who is either looking for last pay day or is another treatment room habitué. We shelled out a kings ransom on Ozil. Answers on a postcard as to how that one has worked out ? ESR, Saka and others can – with the right coaching – propel us up the League. The latter is down to Arteta. I… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

I agree with you but I still want Coutinho.

Gooner Sam

I think we’re a team that needs a lot more than a champagne player on champagne wages (Coutinho)

loose_cannon

I really don’t understand the Coutinho slander. This is a player that was very good for Liverpool and struggled playing out of position at Barca. A Barca team that ended up sacking that manager because the whole team underperformed, with and without Coutinho. To judge him on that is not reasonable.

His numbers at Bayern aren’t out of this world but they blow our midfielders out of the water. My only reservations would be financial, his actual ability isn’t in doubt imo.

loose_cannon

Much better that then blowing a huge chunk of our (non) budget on someone who is either looking for last pay day or is another treatment room habitué.”

Well, despite what people think it’s not an either/or decision. We could also spend money on someone that is actually rather good!

Martin

Ozil worked out brilliantly and has still one of the highest assists rates in the Premier League. He was the fastest to 50 assists and helped us win 3 FA Cups in 4 years. One of the most creative players we have ever had. Yes he has regressed but initially a great signing. If ESR has half the ability of a world class player I will be very happy.

Rob67

In fifty years of watching Arsenal I have seen far worse players than him.

But I have never seen one that £ for £ delivered so little and cost so much.

A “brilliant” midfield player is Liam Brady or Cesc Fabrigas and
Ozil isn’t a patch on either.

Robh

“Still one of the highest assist rates in the league?”
Yeah, if you stop counting everything that happened after 2018. Arsenal in 2020 don’t care about how good Ozil was 3-5 years ago. This season, Ozil was *9th* on Arsenal in expected assists per 90 minutes. Despite being on setpiece duty. He wasnt in the top 150 of PL players for expected assists per 90 minutes!

MenisBergkamp

I really don’t like this about Ozil, he played for one Arsenal team that deserved a League title and we lost out to Leicester that year. But there were 3 other seasons, starting with his first, where we were good enough to win an FA Cup. All of us said ‘give Ozil what he wants, the league this year’ can’t hate on him for intending to keep that money coming in when he’s literally had thousands of people waiting for the end of the game to boo him. Mesut is too talented to not be on a pitch in a… Read more »

djourou's nutmeg

what sport do you watch? most best players were “a kid from a random second tier team” at some point in their careers my friend, heck saka wasn’t even playing first team football until this season. i’d rather give him a chance than to pay 80M for another french player…

Homer

I liked your comment. The another french player part was pretty daft.
Drop that ignorant bit, and its pretty good!

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Pépé isn’t even a french player. He plays for Ivory Coast.

djourou's nutmeg

he’s french, born and raised there. you can google it up. and i’ve nothing against him, it’s just that for what he delivers i’d rather play an academy player. cheers

Toni

He is Ivorian actually, not French.

djourou's nutmeg

seriously, google it. he was born in france, but decided to play for ivory coast.

LEFT08

Alternatively, just “get out S(a)tan” will do us fine.

TOGooner

That is not what arteta is saying, he’s just saying Emil can help us, not even that more so that he looks more ready to help us. On top of that, he’s identifying that Wenger attacking midfielder role as something we don’t have at the club anymore and need to fulfill before it’s too late and we lose it as part of our identity.

To me it sounds like he agrees with u, fat gooner.

Futsboller

Yes, sounds like Arteta is pointing to the recent direction the club went in during the brief Emery-era and the erasure of the pocket midfielder — something he wants to replant for future growth.

C.B.

He played well for us when he had the chance, think he has a lot of potential.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEHyYsSo1gs has lots of good stuff on it.

Sank

He is very similar to KDB

he has good close control, passing range and creativity.

Hope he makes very big for us.

Need to atleast start cup games and substitute appearance with us next season.

Frank

Cant wait to see ESR back in an Arsenal shirt, I’ve always rated him very highly, remember him scoring quite a few goals for us when he first broke through. Wouldn’t want to rest all our creativity hopes on his young shoulders but I hope he gets a decent amount of game time and develops in to the player he looks like he might

Tómas

Another reason we desperate need to be in Europe. The likes of ESR could really use that.

A Different George

A balanced assessment with an optimistic cast. What’s the matter with you–we all know that Smith-Rowe must be either a crap Championship-level player or the next Kevin DeBruyne.

LEFT08

Still think we can afford to have Ozil sitting at home then?

Public Elneny

We should bring back ESR as the back up option, and hopefully bring in a quality creative player for the starting XI. Forget Ozil – much better he’s irrelevant at home than irrelevant on the pitch Another thing is we can only really play with a specialist creative midfielder if we go to 3 in midfield, and that can only realistically happen if we go with 2 at the back, or drop a winger and move the other into a more CF position. Currently both our midfield 2 need to be capable defenders. I’d rather return to a back 4,… Read more »

Gooner Sam

yes because Ozil has been [email protected] for ages!

Owen Robison

Honestly….screw that guy. If he was doing what the manager wanted he’d be playing. Get with the plan or GTFO.

Hail Gus!

I think he’s a terrific prospect. There’s something about him, reminds me of the feeling I’d get watching a young Wilshere in Barnet games. I’m hoping Mikel does build a squad of top quality young guns who get their chance like we had in Graham’s days. I think Wenger mismanaged Ox, Theo, Jack

LEFT08

The word mismanaged and Arsene Wenger don’t fit in the same sentence mate.

Daveo

Just because he was a good-vibes manager doesn’t mean he didn’t mismanage players. Wilshere need a right roasting to keep him in line – it wasn’t only injuries that killed jack. And he wasn’t the only one that need to feel some external pressure and to know that talent wasn’t enough – attitude, work ethic, and standing up to pressure were not lasting characteristics of Wenger’s last decade.

LEFT08

For the umpteenth time: Arsene managed to keep Arsenal competitive at the highest level throughout his career. Kroenke’s involvement with Arsenal led to zero investment in the club, with the manager left to deliver with a mediocre squad. And he was still succesful.

John C

This is rubbish, we always had money and he invested heavily, he just bought poorly, mainly because we bought second tier players as our aim was finishing fourth not first. We where never competitive either, we were just better than those below us, because you guessed it we had vastly larger resources, you only have to look at the relative wage bills. This all changed when in 2013 the TV deal wiped out our financial advantage over those below us and because we’d spent the previous 6,7,8 years buying players for fourth we left ourselves venerable to ambitions teams below.… Read more »

LEFT08

Saying he invested heavily is just wrong. The fact is he has invested none, zero, of his own money. And he has loaded incredible debt on the club too. I’m not going to go any further. Read up on it, google AST reports. All fans ought to know exactly how the club is being run by these clowns.

John C

I’m talking about Wenger’s 15 years of mismanagement not Kroenke. It was Wenger’s accountant like approach that attracted him to the club in the first place!!

Futsboller

Yeah, all those years in the top four and astronomical growth of the club’s global reach during his tenure, not to mention a fairly luscious style of football to watch most of the years. Such a bad manager.

Homer

Dude. You are high. Really high.

And I’ll have some of whatever you’re smoking!!

Homer

Not that I agree with that baloney. But whatever shit you have must be stellar.

A Different George

The recent statistics about how Wenger’s teams consistently beat all the weaker teams in the Prem but rarely the top teams show how he used smoke and mirrors to keep Arsenal in the top four year after year, despite a squad that was clearly inferior to the best. Our unbroken success in the group stages of the Champions League, and our inevitable failure in the knockout stages, were more proof of this. From the day we left Highbury to near the end of his tenure, Wenger’s teams over-performed. He was a great manager and, if he had had the resources… Read more »

John C

They didn’t over perform, they were designed to finish 4th!! The team was designed to make maximum revenue via champions league qualification by spending the minimum amount possible, and that’s exactly what happened. We bought players that were better than those the teams below us could afford but not as good as those trying to win the league and in the long run it’s turned out terribly. This is bad business because Arsenal have always been around the top 5 clubs in the world by revenue. So if you’re one of the top 5 clubs in the world you have… Read more »

Public Elneny

Idol worship isn’t good for anyone. All humans are flawed and fallible, including Wenger. And even if you admire someone in a position of power, it’s still good to question them and develop a realistic view

LEFT08

I agree with that. Arsene had some flaws. I’m not a fan of him not speaking against KSE either. But he never mismanaged our club. In my view, it will take decades before anyone of his kind is found to take the club as forward as he did and in the manner he did it. If anyone is ever found.

John C

He not only mismanaged our club he might have irreparably damaged it!

LEFT08

Ha! Here’s an idea for Blogs: Make two comments sections. One for people who have attended at least ONE game at Highbury and know who it is they are supporting. And another for ignorant millennials.

John C

Ha, there probably wasn’t a seat in Highbury I hadn’t sat in, hell I even watched matches from the box in the corner that would host Sky for televised games. I also used to park in the sports centre with the players!

Here’s an idea, maybe some of us know more than you!

Dave cee

Try not to be so presumptuous. I.ve been to Highbury plenty, and also followed the team to a freezing bloody Ewood park for FA Cup replays on a Tuesday night, midday kick offs against the smoggies, supported us whilst amongst the home fans at Celtic and Villa Park, run the gauntlet at Tottenham etc. I was sat a couple of feet from the squirrel when Villarreal came to town for the Semi final. It is quite possible to be an ardent Arsenal fan and not think that Arsene shat gold bullion. Yes he was mostly brilliant and I will remember… Read more »

Hail Gus!

I’ve was a regular at Highbury from 1978 onwards. Pick on someone else.

LEFT08

Wasn’t picking on you at all.

Martin

Apart from transforming Arsenal and produced arguably the greatest team ever seen in England

John C

And then undoing all that good work by staying 10 years too long

jimbo

hows things going since he left? oh no so well

Homer

Right. Makes total sense.

Blame AW for things out of his control.
No spend. And still look what he did as a steward of the club.

Blame AW for the club’s troubles years after he left, because that makes SO MUCH sense.

Honestly, some people on here are just fooking [email protected]

Dave cee

Just 2 examples of mismanagement, I have plenty more if you need… Refusing 60M for Sanchez out of misplaced pride/arrogance, only to swap him for Mkhi 5 months later and then… Giving Ozil a frankly ridiculous contract he was never worth..again out of conceit. Fuck I said 2 but why not, 70M on Xhaka and Mustafi, persevering with Walcott for years, dumping Vieira, never buying a quality DM or CB, Almunia!!! And these are only the obviously examples. Wenger did great things for Arsenal, but he also made huge mistakes and left a n unbalanced, overpaid, complacent and frankly lacking… Read more »

LEFT08

Don’t have time for the wengerout brigade nonsense mate. When Kroenke is done with this club you’ll understand what you are really angry about.

Joseph Kawooya

All the above are world class analysts who got to the opportunities to be so close to Arsene that even took up the privilege to think they should have done better than he did. The landscape changed, and we seem close to its ceiling just like Arsene said it existed.

Public Elneny

No one seems to be defending Kroenke. Why are you turning this into Wenger vs Kroenke?

Several people are partially culpable for our decline, including Wenger, Kroenke, Gazidis, Emery, Raul and Dein

And despite that, it’s possible to have gratitude for what Wenger has done and believe that, overall, he has been very good for us. But to ignore his many damaging mistakes, mainly in the 2nd half of his tenure, is really bizarre

Also don’t like it when people conflate relative youth and lack of attendance at home games with having less knowledge and not being a real fan

kaius

It is very bizarre. It’s another example of how we’re not allowed to mention any of Wenger’s flaws without someone just listing his accomplishments instead of arguing the case.

The original comment was “Wenger mismanaged some youth players” and the counter was “but he revolutionised English football” lol

Why can’t both things be true?

Ckot

Those three players were constantly injured. There is no point in “effectively managing” a player that isn’t going to play consistently for you.

ESR has had some injury problems, so I really hope he is nothing like Wilshere.

Fitzcarraldo

Arteta’s comments at the end of this article make me love him even more. We need to get much better in this area of the field and for him to reference specific players that we used to have in the past…he gets it! Now just hoping we can identify some good players to bring in. ESR definitely needs a chance as well.

Redass

Wow!! Make sure to watch the YouTube clip before any comments, our ESR is super talented, creatively sexy with the ball, can’t wait to have the assists coming all angles.

Ya gooner

We should go after jack graelish he has that creative cuntery any team could do with.

LEFT08

Good luck getting Kroenke to cough up 80 million for him. He is a fine player though.

Frank

To be honest I think ESR and Grealish are pretty similar players. People keep saying hes like de bruyne but I’d say Grealish is the most similar to ESR in the prem at the moment

kaius

Good call

Brian

Wow! The video above *is* exciting. He looks a lot like De Bruyne with the ball.

John

Agree to give the kid a chance but getting A.M.N to be happier I reckon is very crucial

John

Anyone who can play out of position and boss traore has got to be given more of a chance in his favoured position

Adelard Mongu

There are some ARSENAL players U23, U21 U18 that can be incorporated into the first team to get more experience. (Greenwood, Azeez,Balo gun,Olanyka…)
Also we need to add some players with more experience. (Grealish(Villa), Richardson (Everton),Thomas (Atletico Madrid) and Upemaco.

Pepe's Right Foot

I definitely second Richarlison as an option especially if Auba does not stay

Nilaroulettes

Speaking of Mkhi, aren’t we gonna sell him this summer ? It should make something like 20-25M for us.

Ealing

Lol

Rrank Fibery

Lol

Lol

Lol

Sully Taylor

Lol

Homer

One should be VERY wary of youtube player videos. This one is 8 mns. long. That said, is it me, or is ESR sorta two-footed? A shade of a young Cazorla there…? Final ball lacking, but he looks like someone carrying it thru the middle, making good passes, head up. Looks a exciting player. Tons of potential. Fats, I dunno. Normally I agree; if a teenager is the answer, than WTF is the question?!! is my usual response. But, ya gotta start somewhere. And no coutinho thank you very much. An overrated, over paid chemistry/dressing room destroyer. No No No… Read more »

Santori

His development has stalled somewhat. It will be great to see him get more opportunity particularly in the AM role where Ozil will be into last season and frankly we need to move on now (if not already) but I’m not sure he is ready as yet to step up and be soelyly relied on. Which is why IMO it would be good to have someone-else in this position (besides Ozil) who can also provide redundancy. I like someone like Fekir or Aouar who can provide capability out wide on either flank as well particularly as we are carrying younger… Read more »

Mwenda

He’s got huge potential. It’s time to rebuild with young talent for the future so long as there’s a right mindset and inspiration from the manager. I like what Chelsea are doing. We can do it with the current young squad and a few young but proven inclusions for next season and going forward.