Arteta asked to play Emile Smith Rowe ahead of Willian and Pepe

Ian Wright has advised Arsenal to give Emile Smith Rowe more game time ahead of the likes of Willian and Nicolas Pepe or regret losing him.

Smith Rowe has started the last three games for the Gunners under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta and the three games have ended in victories for the North Londoners.

Therefore, Ian Wright has urged Arteta to stick with the 20-year-old in upcoming games or lose the potential the Englishman possesses.

It can be recalled that Arsenal let Serge Gnabry leave for just £5million back in 2016 and the German international has established himself as a mainstay at Bayern Munich.

In a chat with Wrighty’s House Podcast, he said: ‘It must be brilliant going into training at the moment for someone like Emile Smith Rowe.

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‘He’s somebody who has had his injuries, he’s gone on loan, he’s done his stuff. For me, Smith Rowe has paid his dues out there, waiting for his chance.

‘I think that what Mikel has done now, the timing with which he’s done it, is perfect because I think if Smith Rowe doesn’t get into this team, at this stage, and they carry on doing what they’re doing and persisting with people who are not performing at the levels they should – whether it’s Willian or (Nicolas) Pepe – I think you lose him.

‘Especially with January being here, and then we’ve got a Serge Gnabry on our hands.’

Smith Rowe has played six games for Arsenal in the Premier League and Europa League and has 1 goal and 4 assists to his name thus far. The player also appears fully recovered from several long-term injuries that have kept him out of action.

The 20-year-old saw his loan spell to RB Leipzig hampered by a groin injury in the 2018/19 season, few months after making his debut for Arsenal. He spent the second half of last season on loan to Championship side Huddersfield Town.

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On his return to the Arsenal first-team at the start of the season, he was delayed by a shoulder problem.

According to Wright, Smith Rowe, alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli has helped in the improvement of the side’s first-team regulars that have been under-performing.

Wright added: ‘Gabriel Martinelli and Smith Rowe have energised (Alexandre) Lacazette, we’ve seen what Saka is doing. (Kieran) Tierney is amazing, future captain, you can see. (Rob) Holding, (Pablo) Mari looks okay, he’s going to be tested at some stage and we’ll see that.

‘(Granit) Xhaka and (Mohamed) Elneny in the middle there, just the energy. It’s seems like everybody has risen up a little bit.

‘We beat a Chelsea side where people were thinking we were going to get hammered and we beat West Brom. West Brom drew with Manchester City!’