Mikel Arteta heaps praise on Emile Smith Rowe after north London derby win

fbl eng pr arsenal leeds 1 1 e1614009786431
fbl eng pr arsenal leeds 1 1 e1614009786431

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was impressed with the showing of Emile Smith Rowe during the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.

The 20-year-old recently returned from a hip injury to play the final few minutes of the Olympiacos clash, but he was given the nod to start in the north London derby.

Smith Rowe played on the left side of the attack with Martin Odegaard featuring in the number 10 role, and he looked comfortable there.

He combined splendidly with Kieran Tierney,  making several overlapping runs behind Matt Doherty, and was unlucky to not register a goal or an assist.

Alexandre Lacazette failed to capitalise on two cutbacks in the box, while the youngster was unfortunate as his stunning long-range shot hit the top of the woodwork.

Speaking after the game, Arteta heaped praise on the former Hale End graduate and said that the youngster gives something different to the team.

He told Arsenal.com: “I think Emile had a magnificent performance again as well. I think he shows not only quality but his personality, his intelligence on the pitch, his energy.

“He gives us something different. Today in a derby you need some individual performances and for sure he had one.”

Smith Rowe has been a key player for the Gunners since their season turnaround in the Boxing Day game against Chelsea.

He started nine of the next 10 league games for the club before sustaining a worrying hip problem during the 3-1 comeback win at Leicester City.

However, it was only a minor setback and he has returned to the fray after missing a solitary match against Burnley, which was due to match fitness.

Smith Rowe played one of his best games of the season yesterday, and he could be in line to start the second leg of the Europa League last 16 tie.

The Gunners have a comfortable 3-1 advantage after the away leg at Olympiacos and should progress to the next round, barring a horror show at the Emirates.

Read: Arsenal to compete with Leeds United to sign this Dutch defender.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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