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.
“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.
Mikel Arteta has already revealed his plan for Gabriel Martinelli after Manchester City snub
With Arsenal trailing in their Premier League clash against Manchester City, Mikel Arteta turned to his bench for answers.
The call was to bring on Alexandre Lacazette and Emile Smith Rowe for Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard as he sought to find a goal that would draw them level.
In doing so, though, the Gunners boss snubbed one of his best and brightest attacking talents – Gabriel Martinelli.
After bursting onto the scene again following his return from injury in December, the Brazilian has played just 66 minutes since injuring himself in the warm up to the FA Cup third round tie with Newcastle last month.
This has drawn the ire of many Arsenal fans who have had to watch their side struggle to find the back of the net on several occasions this season. With just 31 goals in 25 games they are comfortably the lowest scorers in the Premier League’s top half.
On the face of it this anger appears to make sense.
“Gabi is another one that even in a moment of adversity you see him training and everything he brings and contributes to the team – his energy, his passion, his motivation – he is transmitting positive emotions to everybody,” he said.
“He tries and goes and goes again … he wants to score a goal and he is ruthless in training in every single action.
“So the more players you have to add, in the end that gets translated into what happens on the football pitch. Over time you will be stable.