Former Arsenal coach admits Emile Smith Rowe has proved him wrong
Former Arsenal academy coach Andries Jonker has admitted that Emile Smith Rowe has proved him wrong following his successful breakthrough at Arsenal.
The 20-year-old has started 10 of the Gunners‘ last 11 games in the Premier League, contributing four assists in the process, and has established himself as an integral member of the first-team.
Smith Rowe‘s meteoric rise comes on the back of a successful stint on loan with Huddersfield Town in the Championship last season, having previously spent time with RB Leipzig.
While Smith Rowe has established himself as a star at Arsenal, Jonker has admitted the player was not previously thought to be one that could have the impact in the senior squad that he has.
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“He was always motivated and dedicated as an academy player. He has always been very stable with his performances,” he told TV2.
“We definitely thought he could have a career in football, but I don’t think many predicted that he would get in the first team of Arsenal.
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“He was a talent with a solid head, but he was never looked like the greatest talent in the academy. I’m very proud of what he’s achieving at the moment because he’s really put in all the work himself. He was someone you could trust, someone who was rarely injured.”
Smith Rowe’s current contract at Arsenal runs until 2023 but it is expected he will be rewarded with a bumper new deal, similar to the one issued to Bukayo Saka last season.
He is also a fan favourite to take the number 10 shirt next season, which was vacated by Mesut Ozil’s departure in January.