Press conference

‘Emile must stay humble and continue working hard’

Alex Iwobi and Emile Smith Rowe celebrate Emile's first Arsenal goal

Emile Smith Rowe will never forget the evening of October 4, 2018.

Our 18-year-old midfielder scored his first professional goal to help us win 3-0 away at Qarabag, finishing clinically after fellow Hale End product Alex Iwobi had set him up.

After the match, Unai Emery spoke about Smith Rowe - and outlined what the midfielder must do if he is to continue to thrive.

Smith Rowe and Iwobi celebrate Emile's first Arsenal goal

Smith Rowe and Iwobi celebrate Emile's first Arsenal goal

on what he said to Emile Smith Rowe when he came off and how far can Emile go…
Well, first I think that every player needs to feel that we have the option to give them chances an an opportunity to play with us. Above all, the players with us, they are coming from the academy and today they are here. Deyan Illiev is here also, Eddie Nketiah is here also, and also is Joe Willock. We want to give them [opportunities] but also they earned their moments in the pitch because, in pre-season for example, Emile Smith Rowe worked very well with us. He knows how we want to play and he is very humble to continue improving and progressing with us and in every training and match, like today. I said to him, after he left the match, that before he had one action and with ambition, he can go inside the box and score more.

on what qualities in Emile stand out for him to make him want to pick him…
A little bit of all the qualities he has: physical, mentality and quality with his right foot. Working in combinations with other players. If I can say one condition, for me, it’s his mentality. He is humble and he is humble to listen every day in training, in the video analysis and also before the match to continue improving and to keep taking one step more, like today. The last matches he played, for example against Brentford, he had three actions in the opposition boxes and didn’t score. But today, he had two and one was a goal. I think this is one step more for him. I prefer to not speak a lot about him, because I think it’s best for him to continue to be humble and continue working in every match to keep his feet on the ground.