Who is this Arsenal starlet shining bright in the Gunners’ pre-season? The next big academy talent?

Who is Arsenal starlet Emile Smith-Rowe? The next big thing from the Gunners’ academy?

Arsenal saw a flurry of high-profile signings come into the club this summer. The Emirates is filled with excitement and joy as they embark on a new journey under Unai Emery. The manager brought in the likes of Bern Leno, Stephan Lichstenier, and Lucas Torreira to bolster the squad ahead of the new campaign.

The Gunners will be aiming to make a swift return to the top-4 after finishing in Europa League spots for two consecutive years. They have already begun their preparations for the new season by kicking off their Singaporean pre-season tour. The club opened the tournament with a clash against Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid.

The Europa League winners opened the scoring through Luciano Vietto, but the Gunners witnessed a moment of magic from youngster Emile Smith-Rowe. The 18-year-old ghosted past two players before unleashing a cracker from the edge of the 18-yard-box, sending the Arsenal fans into raptures.

The youngster, who turns 18 today, was overjoyed to score for the Arsenal senior team. He said after the game that the goal felt more special to him than winning the World Cup last summer. That’s right, Arsenal’s wonderkid was a part of the England Under-17 squad that won the World Cup in India last summer.

He is an exciting young prospect for the Gunners and given that Unai Emery is a huge fan of nourishing youngsters, Emile Smith-Rowe could play in the Premier League this season.

Emile joined the Hale End Academy in 2010 and made his first appearance for the under-23s in 2016 at a tender age of just 16. He also scored 6 goals in 14 appearances for the under-18 team. He also underwent a trial with Chelsea before joining Arsenal’s famed academy.

Born in Croydon, the youngster is a talented attacking midfielder who possesses the ability to split and unlock defences. He’s also capable of scoring the occasional blinder and dazzling the fans with his trickery.

He showcased his capabilities with a magnificent strike against Norwich City under-18s last season, following some close control and an elegant flick.

The youngster is generally deployed on the left-wing but during the Gunners’ run to the FA Youth Cup final last season, he showed his versatility by operating in a more central role.

A good passer of the ball as well as being a very direct player, the teenager could slot into any of the three roles behind the main striker if Emery wants to use a 4-2-3-1 formation next season.

Read more: Why Arsenal over Manchester United could be the ideal destination for this explosive £50m star

One thing is for sure though – big things await the young starlet as he stamps his name into the Arsenal books. Unai Emery could be the perfect manager to help the budding youngster grow into the final product.

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