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Mikel Arteta outlines what Emile Smith Rowe must do to compete with Europe’s top midfielders

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at American Express Community Stadium on December 29, 2020 in Brighton, England.The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Smith Rowe’s Arsenal stint

Emile Smith Rowe has been one of the few bright sparks for Arsenal in a less than impressive 2020/21 campaign.

The 20-year-old finally began to earn regular minutes for Arsenal’s first-team at the back end of 2020, and has since firmly cemented himself as a crucial cog in Mikel Arteta’s midfield.

The England youth international offers some much-needed creativity to the Gunners, and has provided seven assists in 30 outings across all competitions this term.

During Arsenal’s dominant 3-1 win over Championship-bound West Brom at the weekend, meanwhile, Smith Rowe finally scored his first-ever Premier League goal:

Mikel Arteta on Emile Smith Rowe

Mikel Arteta, though, evidently still wants to see more from ESR when it comes to goal contributions.

Speaking after the midfielder netted his first in the English top-flight, the Arsenal boss voiced his opinion that a top season for a Gunners no.10 would see them scoring 15 goals and providing 10 assists.

To reach such a level, Arteta also explained what he feels Smith Rowe must do:

“He’s having an incredible season ever since he started to play in December.

“But he’s scoring his first Premier League goal. An incredible season for a number 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give 10 assists.

“Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league. He’s got the ability to do it but he hasn’t done it.

“We need to stay calm with him, give him the right support and step by step I think he will be getting there.”

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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