Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe ‘a joy to watch’ – Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has praised Emile Smith Rowe after the midfielder’s player of the match performance against Luton Town, calling him “a joy to watch”.

The 23-year-old started his third Premier League game of the season in Arsenal’s 2-0 win and was key to both goals.

His tackle on Pelly Ruddock in midfield set up the attack which Martin Odegaard opened the scoring from on 24 minutes. He then helped double Arsenal’s lead at the end of the first half, driving to the byline and having his pass to Reiss Nelson directed in by Daiki Hashioka.

“A lot,” Arteta said on how much the performance could help Smith Rowe’s confidence. “I love him as a player, he is a joy to watch. How he moves, changes direction and how physical he was today without the ball.

“He went into duels and won a lot of them and was thinking with that killer instinct to play forward and make things happen. When Emile is in that moment, it’s very difficult to stop him. Today he helped us a lot to win the game.”

The Arsenal manager also gave an update on Bukayo Saka, who was absent from the matchday squad after limping off against Manchester City with a hamstring issue on the weekend.

“He was close but he felt something in a very similar area (to) against City and it was a very short turnaround,” Arteta said.

“Hopefully he will be able to train tomorrow and be available for the weekend.”



The Briefing: Arsenal 2 Luton 0 – Smith Rowe shines as Arteta’s much-needed rotation pays off

(Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

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