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‘Willian and Pepe could make Smith Rowe another Gnabry’ – Wright fears Arsenal exit for talented youngster

07-Jan-2021, 03:08 pm

Emile Smith Rowe Serge Gnabry

Arsenal need to ensure that Emile Smith Rowe does not become another Serge Gnabrysays Ian Wright, with the Gunners great concerned that regular game time for underperforming Willian and Nicolas Pepe could force another academy graduate to look elsewhere.

With seasoned performerssuch as Willian and Pepestruggling for form and Mesut Ozil frozen out of the picture, Arsenal have had to look elsewhere for creative inspiration.

Smith Rowe has provided that during a run of three successive Premier League wins, with the 20-year-old playmaker impressing after being given an opportunity.

Wright wants Arteta to resist the urge to return so-called stars to his starting XI, sayingthat overlooking potential at this stage could leave Arsenal with another Gnabry on their hands, after the current Bayern Munich winger left north London in order to fulfil his potential.

“It must be brilliant going into training at the moment for someone like Emile Smith Rowe,” theGunners great told Wrighty’s House Podcast.“He’s somebody who has had his injuries, he’s gone on loan, he’s done his stuff. For me, Smith Rowe has paid his dues out there, waiting for his chance.

“I think that what Mikel has done now, the timing with which he’s done it, is absolutely perfect because I think if Smith Rowe doesn’t get into this team, at this stage, and they carry on doing what they’re doing and persisting with people who are not performing at the levels they should – whether it’s Willian or Nicolas Pepe – I think you lose him.

“Especially with January being here, and then we’ve got a Serge Gnabry on our hands.”

Smith Rowe is not the only player to have impressed for Arsenal of late, with Wright saluting Arteta’s squad for raising collective standards when serious questions were being of those on and off the field.

He added: “Gabriel Martinelli and Smith Rowe have energised Alexandre Lacazette, we’ve seen what Bukayo Saka is doing. Kieran Tierney is amazing, future captain, you can see. Rob Holding, Pablo Mari looks okay, he’s going to be tested at some stage and we’ll see that.

“Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny in the middle there, just the energy. It’s seems like everybody has risen up a little bit.

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