Mikel Arteta, Arsenal‘s manager, spoke to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s upcoming match and discussed Emile Smith Rowe’s popularity within the team. Arteta emphasized the team’s affection for Smith Rowe and how much they value him.
Arteta acknowledged that while being popular and well-liked by the team is important, it’s equally crucial for a player to start games and maintain consistency once they are on the pitch. He also highlighted the significance of staying fit to be a consistent presence in the starting lineup.
Mikel Arteta said: “Emile Smith Rowe is incredibly popular. We all love him, it’s no different what the people feel and what we feel about him.
“But one thing is to be there, the other one is to start the games and then once you start, you are consistent to stay there. You have to stay fit as well. Obviously, we speak with our players.
“We always try to explain the reason why we make certain decisions, but Emile is clear on what he needs to do — which is performing on the pitch and giving the best to win games for us.”
Emile Smith Rowe is anticipated to make a return to Arsenal’s starting lineup when the team faces Brentford in the EFL Cup third round match on Wednesday.
This could mark Smith Rowe’s first start for Arsenal in nearly 499 days, with his last competitive start for the club dating back to May 16, 2022.