Emile Smith Rowe had a big decision to make during the summer.
After starring on our pre-season tour of Singapore there were offers on the table for the teenager to spend the 2018/19 campaign out on loan, but he chose to stay in north London and wait patiently for his chance.
That patience has paid off. The 18-year-old made his first-team debut off the bench against Vorskla Poltava and a week after making his full senior bow against Brentford, scored against Qarabag on Thursday night.
“I feel delighted,” he said. “Obviously it is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, scoring my first goal for the club. I scored in pre-season but last night it felt so different and I am just so happy.
“I am really enjoying it. I was enjoying it before but I am getting chances and I am so grateful that the gaffer has got faith in me. I just want to keep improving and keep getting minutes.
“Unai has been a real big help to me personally because he is always talking to me after training. And as a team, he is always telling us, having a lot of meetings after training and even before matches. I think it’s really good for the team.
“[Fighting for a place] was a chance I took and I am happy I have taken it because now he is really happy with me, he helps me a lot and to get the chances I am getting now is crazy. There’s no other place I’d rather be.
“When I first started training with them the team, players like Welbeck, Lacazette were so welcoming. Everyone is helping me, everyone is giving me advice and I couldn’t really mention anyone now because everyone has been so welcoming. It is like a big family.
“Every player has told me you’ve got so much ability, so much quality just keep focused and keep working hard. To get that off world class players – even Mesut Ozil has told me that before and Aubameyang as well – is just unbelievable.
“I haven’t really set any targets,” added Smith Rowe. “For me, it is just training every day, working hard and if I get my chance in the Premier League one day, that would be unbelievable. At the moment, I am just try to make my way with games in the cups. Hopefully one day I can make my Premier League debut.”
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