Arsenal boss Unai Emery champions talented young guns while ruling out Emile Smith Rowe loan
- Credit: Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has hailed his talented youngsters while confirming to the Islington Gazette he is not looking to loan out starlet Emile Smith Rowe during this transfer window.
Smith Rowe is expected to feature against Blackpool in the FA Cup third round this weekend and is seen as an integral part of the squad.
The Croydon-born 18-year-old creative midfielder replaced Alex Iwobi to make his bow as a substitute in the Gunners 4-2 victory over Vorskla Poltava to kick-off the opening match of the club’s 2018-19 Europa League campaign back in September.
It was fitting the teenager replaced another homegrown product of the Arsenal academy, for Croydon-born Smith Rowe has been with the Arsenal youth system since the age of 10 and debuted for the club’s U23s side at just 16 years old.
The attacking midfielder was also part of the England U17 side that landed the World Cup in 2017 and is now an England U18 international.
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When asked if there was a possibility of the talented teen being loaned out to another club Emery said: “Now I don’t know. In the summer yes. But he’s not available [for loaning out in this transfer window].”
The former PSG boss also took time out to hail the new wave of youngsters coming through the club’s academy led by Per Mertsacker who oversees Freddie Ljungberg’s work with the U23s and U21s and Ken Gillard’s U18s.
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With the 17-year-old Bukayo Saka making his Premier League bow in the 4-1 victory over Fulham at the Emirates on New Year’s Day the North Londoners are stocked with young prodigies.
Speaking at the club’s training ground, London Colney ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road he said: “Saka made his debut in our last match and he’s important for us.
“We give chances to young players. He played because at the moment we haven’t a lot of players who can play right winger or on the left. In the academy growing up he gave good performances. I hope it’s the beginning of long career at Arsenal but it’s the same with Emile, with [Joe] Willock, with [Eddie] Nketiah].
“We need to give them chances. Saturday [against Blackpool] I am going to think to do that.
“He is improving a lot and growing up in our academy. He’s 17-year-old which is young but he’s training with us. He lives our moments with the team and he’s started to play in games and in the Premier League.
“We need to help him also. We need to have a strategy.”
Sako joined Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock in making their senior bow for the club over the past 12 months with the future looking as bright as it has done in a number of years in terms of a production line of young talent.
Emery is fast gaining a reputation as a boss not afraid to blood academy players if he thinks they’re good enough.
As the tricky tie with the Tangerines approaches the former Sevilla boss is set to offer the chance for a number of teens to make their mark in the North West seaside town.
He added: “I usually work with young players and give the opportunity for young players. I give them chances to play.
“My responsibility is to work with them and here I want to do that. But each player is going to earn more or less chances through his performances and working everyday.
“They are playing with Freddie [Ljungberg’s] U23 and we look at their attitude. At the moment we are going with this way with them but we know they can work with us. We need to help them and to give them chances.”.
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29