Arsenal’s number 10 Emile Smith-Rowe and new January signing Jakub Kiwior both played in an Arsenal U21’s fixture against Chelsea U21’s this evening.
Both of players were involved from the first minute, with this being Kiwior’s first involvement in an Arsenal shirt.
The Polish international joined Arsenal in the January transfer window for a fee worth €25m. Since coming to North London, Kiwior has only been on the bench and is yet to make his debut under Mikel Arteta, so to keep up his fitness he was given minutes in the U21s fixture tonight.
Although he was only on the pitch for the first-half, Kiwior’s performance didn’t go unnoticed. The ball playing center back did his job in defence without any mistakes, with his fantastic passing being evident on multiple occasions. Kiwior perfectly played his short passes into the midfield and also sent a few accurate long balls to the wingers and strikers. He played with Walters in a center-back pairing with the couple keeping a clean sheet in the first half.
Emile Smith-Rowe has had a long road of recovery, after undergoing surgery on his groin earlier on in the season. Smith-Rowe’s creativity and ball playing ability was present tonight, with him creating two chances for his teammates.
He also had a fantastic effort in the 7th minute from the edge of the box, which was saved by Chelsea’s goalkeeper Slonina. There is no doubt that Smith-Rowe’s ability will be beneficial to Mikel Arteta and Arsenal in their title charge, once their number ten is back to full fitness.
The 22-year old also stayed on the field for only the first 45 minutes with him coming off at half-time for the youngest ever Premier League player, Ethan Nwaneri.
To get 45 minutes under both players’ belts will help bolster their fitness with them both very important assets to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in their Premier League and Europa League title charge.