Emile Smith Rowe made his first start for Arsenal in 499 days against Brentford in the Carabao Cup last night and although still not being able to last the full 90 minutes, Arsenal’s number ten showed glimpses of his former self.
Emile Smith Rowe returns to Mikel Arteta’s side free from doubts, with nothing left to lose as he’s determined to fight for more minutes and starts at Arsenal this season.
The 2022/23 campaign was the most difficult season of the 23-year-old’s career so far. Emile Smith Rowe underwent groin surgery at the beginning of last season, and once he returned the Gunners found themselves in a surprising title race with Manchester City with the stakes simply too high to ease anyone back in.
However this season is different. Arsenal’s number ten says he feeling fitter than ever after producing a promising performance in the Carabao Cup yesterday evening.
Emile Smith Rowe: “Do I have doubts? Not so much anymore. I’ve got to change my mentality just to go for it. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m trying to change inside me. I used to have a lot of doubts, used to question my confidence at times. Now I’m strong, feeling really fit.
“The gaffer has really helped me with that [confidence]. He was helping me through my injury and pulled me for chats about how I can be mentally stronger.
“I really believe in myself now. I have all the right people around me, my family and friends, everyone at the club always willing to help every day on and off the pitch. I’ve got to keep going, keep believing and I’m sure the chances will come.”
Emile Smith Rowe also made his UEFA Champions League debut for the Gunners last week after being subbed on in the second-half against PSV at the Emirates Stadium.
Emile Smith Rowe: “Last week when I heard that in the Champions League, [it] was a really proud moment for me and my family. It’s been hard sometimes not coming on, sometimes I’ve felt disappointed. But this is life, this is football, you’ve got to keep going.”
The 23-year-old is determined to fight for more minutes under Mikel Arteta this season: “I’ve got to stay patient, keep working hard in training. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been trying to work on in training, my positioning and stuff like that. [Arteta] has been helping me a lot. It’s been a challenge for me but I’m really enjoying it.”