England midfielder Jack Wilshere had a bright and early start to his football career. Joining Arsenal as a kid, his progress stunned all those around him as his meteoric rise to stardom marveled everyone including his trainers at Arsenal’s famed Hale End Academy. Then at just 16years of age he was given first team opportunity by erstwhile Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. The young lad didn’t look lost as he displayed the skills and movement of a veteran with his performance in the Champions league victory over Barcelona standing out as his best outing in an Arsenal shirt, but that was just as good as it got for him as recurring injuries did much harm to a once promising career.
The midfielder was sold this summer after having a talk with new Arsenal coach Unai Emery who couldn’t assure him of first team opportunities due to his injury record. Now at Westham United, the England international aimed at rejuvenating his career with the Hammers but such plans have been cut short by yet another injury that will leave him sidelined for a couple of months. Now with Wilshere out of Arsenal and out injured, there is a new kid on the block who will be looking to tow a similar path to that of Wilshere.
Thursday night at the Olympic stadium in Baki Azerbaijan, Arsenal faced Qarabag FK in matchday two of the Europa league where the Gunners went home 3 nil winners on the night. Unai Emery fielded a second string side as he left the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka on the bench while Emerick Aubamenyang and Aaron Ramsey were not included in the travelling party. It was a game filled with debut goals for Emery’s side with Sokratis and Guendouzi hitting the back of the net, but the goal scorer that caught the attention of Arsenal fans is youngster Emile Smith Rowe.
Emile Smith Rowe joined the Arsenal academy as a 10-year old but it was not until last summer that he came into reckoning when he was included in Arsenal’s pre-season squad, he took that opportunity by the scruff of the neck. The 18 year-old shown bright during summer friendlies, announcing himself to the football world with a wonderful strike against Atletico Madrid and he has not looked back since.
On Thursday night Unai Emery included Smith Rowe from the start and it was a decision that paid off as the youngster scored his debut goal for Arsenal in a competitive match, slotting in Alex Iwobi’s pass to give Arsenal a 2 – 0 lead. That goal made him the youngest player to score for Arsenal in a competitive game since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s against Olympiakos in September 2011.
Smith Rowe was a member of the England team that won the Under-17 World Cup last time out, also he previously rejected the chance to join Tottenham and he will be hoping to get more game time for the Gunners and avoid injuries; the likes that crippled Wilshere’s growth at Arsenal.
The former Bournemouth midfielder labeled Smith Rowe as ‘Special’, ‘talented’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘skilful’, he went on to admit that Smith Rowe possesses ‘something a little bit special’.
Emile Smith Rowe has since signed a professional contract with the club but won’t be expected to be part of the weekend’s match against Fulham as the likes of Aubamenyang and Ramsey are expected to return.