Emile Smith Rowe faces Ramsey and Ozil dilemma after Arteta’s Arsenal midfield shake up – Bailey Keogh

Emile Smith Rowe has excelled since being bought in the side by Mikel Arteta during the middle of the last season.

He featured 33 times for the Gunners and contributed to 15 goals in the process. Such good numbers persuaded the club to offer him a new contract and reward him with the number 10 shirt.

However since the switch of the squad numbers for this campaign, the youngster has failed to register a goal or an assist with Arteta has opting to play him on the right hand-side of midfield instead of the attacking midfield position.

The Englishman’s troubles are similar to Aaron Ramsey who was also a central midfielder but was switched onto the right-hand side by Arsene Wenger.

Smith Rowe started the season playing in the attacking midfielder position in the games against Brentford and Chelsea but they both ended in defeat.

Emile Smith Rowe featured on the right-hand side agains Norwich. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Emile Smith Rowe featured on the right-hand side agains Norwich. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Since the arrival of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window, Smith Rowe started on the right-hand side against Manchester City and he was also played there when he came on as a sub against Norwich.

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And it was the most recent game against the Canaries where the problems playing him on the right were evident.

Due to his unfamiliarity with the position it meant that his decision-making was poor. There was an instance when he cut in from the right-hand side with Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both available for the pass, he instead went for a shot that went straight into the goalkeepers arms.

This was followed up by his decision not to play a through ball into Pepe who would’ve been through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

This issue is reminiscent with Ramsey in 2014/15 as after the signing of Mesut Ozil it meant that the Welshman was shifted towards the right-hand side and struggled as he only managed seven goals in 45 matches with seven assists alongside that.

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This even led to him expressing his discontent as per the Mirror he said. “”It [playing on the right] is not my preferred position,” said Ramsey. “I am a central midfielder and that’s where I like to be. I like to be involved a lot more in the game.

Aaron Ramsey expressed discontent about being on played on the right-hand side in 2015.
Aaron Ramsey expressed discontent about being played on the right-hand side in 2015.

It is unlikely for Smith Rowe to do anything similar to this considering his age and the dynamic of the squad.

The 21-year-old still has time to improve his decision-making in this position if Arteta is opting to give him that role in the future.

But if the Spaniard wants to fit both Odegaard and Smith Rowe in the same team then the best option would be having them both in the centre of midfield or one player in the attacking midfield position with one just behind.

Source by Football London

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