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Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Roma loan move unlocks an opportunity for Arsenal teenager Emile Smith Rowe


Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan left Arsenal just before the European transfer window slammed shut. Mkhitaryan moved to Roma on a season-long loan on the European deadline day.
The Gunners have now lost a first-team midfielder but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Unai Emery can use the extra space in his squad to promote from within; giving a chance to a talented youngster.
Step forward Emile Smith Rowe, who is perhaps next in line after Reiss Nelson. Here are three reasons why Emery should give Smith Rowe the chance to take Mkhitaryan’s spot in the Arsenal squad when he fully returns from injury.

Heavy schedule

Like last year, Arsenal will have a heavy schedule of fixtures. In addition to the Premier League games, Emery’s men will be competing in the Europa League, EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
Arsenal have to target some silverware this season. While a title challenge is probably beyond Arsenal this season, the other three cup competitions are realistic chances to achieve some concrete success for Emery.
In order to compete in all competitions, Arsenal need to rotate their options. Smith Rowe will be given more opportunities, especially if there are any injuries, so he needs to step into a bigger first-team role than he had last season.

First-team football is the fastest way to the top

Nelson’s game came on leaps and bounds with a loan move to Hoffenheim last season. Emery now trusts the youngster to start in Premier League matches. Smith Rowe’s loan to Red Bull Leipzig was not quite as successful, though, due to injuries.
But if he gets back to his best, he can show Emery why he should be competing for starts. The 19-year-old is only going to improve by getting more minutes under his belt. With Mkhitaryan out of the picture, this is a possibility for Smith Rowe.

Reassess in January

Emery can judge Smith Rowe’s performances until January before deciding what to do with him for the rest of the year. It will also help to learn about Arsenal’s situation in the cup competitions and the league.
If Emery feels Smith Rowe is not quite ready, he could be sent out on loan again. However, if the England U19 starlet takes this opportunity and seizes it with both hands, he could become a first-team regular by the end of the campaign.

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