Mikel Arteta reveals why he took off substitute Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal win

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Mikel Arteta reveals why he took off substitute Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal win

Emile Smith Rowe came on as a substitute at the Emirates Stadium after only 30 minutes, but he was only able to play for 47 minutes.

Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, stated that the young star was always going to find it challenging to play because he had been out of action for a long time. Smith Rowe has been plagued by injuries this season, which have hindered his first-team prospects.

However, he was given a chance to play when Leandro Trossard was forced off with an injury after 22 minutes. Smith Rowe played on the left side of Arsenal’s attack, with Gabriel Martinelli taking up the central position. On the 69th minute, Arteta decided to replace Smith Rowe with Reiss Nelson, who went on to score the winning goal.

There were no visible signs that Smith Rowe had sustained an injury, but he returned to the pitch earlier than expected after being sidelined for several months due to a groin problem.

The Arsenal boss said of Smith Rowe: “We didn’t plan to throw him in so early in the game. We knew it would be difficult for him to last for 70 minutes after he’d had five months out, but I think he had a good impact. In the end, I felt that we needed something else, especially on the left, as we were attracting more players onto that side so we made the decision to change.”

This season, Emile Smith Rowe has not been selected to start a single game in any competition, and he has only made nine appearances as a substitute.

Arsenal has had a consistent starting lineup, which has limited Smith Rowe’s playing time even before he was injured.

Reiss Nelson came on as a substitute, and his impact was significant as he scored the winning goal in the seventh minute of added time.

Like Smith Rowe, Nelson is also an academy graduate, but he has not been a regular in the first team. Despite this, Mikel Arteta praised Nelson’s abilities and what he brings to the team.

“I always saw the potential, the talent and the desire for him to do it but he is in a different level right now,” the Spaniard said of Nelson. “Football-wise, it was my decision in the last two games not to put him in the squad because we had different options, but he is knocking on the door and training really well. It is a good lesson for me and that coaches that we need him.”

Despite Manchester City’s victory over Newcastle on Saturday, which brought them within two points of the league leaders, Arsenal managed to maintain their five-point lead with their win.

However, the Gunners had a rocky start to their match against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, conceding a goal within the first 10 seconds and then falling behind 2-0.

Nevertheless, goals from Thomas Partey and Ben White helped them level the game, and Reiss Nelson’s last-minute winner caused jubilation at the Emirates Stadium, securing their lead in the Premier League standings.

“Probably, it is the loudest and most emotional moment we have lived together. Obviously, the journey we’ve been on added to the moment we had today,” said Arteta.

Mikel Arteta reveals why he took off substitute Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal win

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