He began his footballing with Arsenal when he just 10. He rose through the Arsenal ranks, eventually being loaned out to RB Leipzig in Germany and then Huddersfield Town for some playing time before being brought to the first team in 2020-21. Injuries and a slow start kept him from a major role early in the season.
He got his first start on Boxing Day 2020, notching an assist in a big 3-1 victory over Chelsea. He would start 18 matches on the season, netting two goals and providing five assists.
The #10 shirt is seen as a key jersey on most teams. ESR’s possession of this jersey shows confidence in his ability and his future with the club.
Previous #10’s at Arsenal include: Dennis Bergkamp, Paul Merson, William Gallas, Robin van Persie, and Jack Wilshere. Wilshire especially never quite lived up to the expectations, and defender Gallas is an interesting #10 choice to be sure.
But Bergkamp, RVP (who was a fantasy must-have for years), and Merson are Arsenal greats.
We will have to see how Smith Rowe handles the honor and the pressure.
Smith Rowe was a solid enabler at times last season in both formats. He didn’t put up consistent goals or assists, but if you hit him on the right day he was a great value pick. We will have to wait and see how involved he is on set pieces and in the attack in the upcoming campaign.
FPL: Mid, £5.5M
Smith Rowe starts the season at a cheap £5.5M in FPL and has a good opening match-up against Brentford.
Besides Stuart Dallas (who has been re-classed as a midfielder this season), and maybe Billy Gilmour at $4.5, there is no other midfielder at ESR’s price point that I’m really even looking at. He is a solid value buy with a potential quality upside. If we see him consistently starting and being involved, I could see him stashed on some benches as the season goes. Much of his season will depend on how Arsenal does this year, and much of Arsenal’s season may depend on how well Smith Rowe does. That’s a lot of pressure for a 21 year old. The Gunners have a lot of attacking pieces, but they never seemed to fit together quite right last season. Is it possible that he is the cliched glue that brings them together? Maybe. Hopefully.
But I am not yet all in on him as a fantasy player. I am considering him as a cheap option to start the season with a good matchup and as a potential enabler moving forward.
Fantrax: Mid, $5.51
ESR was a really cheap option for much of last season, and I found him enabling my squad for multiple game-weeks last year. In Fantrax, he has some added appeal with the key passes and other stats adding up. But again there is a some caution to be taken as he has games where he doesn’t show up much on the stats book (10 games of his 20 were under 5 points).
When he was priced in the $2 range, he was a much easier gamble on weekends to afford a higher priced player, as you could assume he would at least get his points back and had potential for a bigger game. Now over $5, even though it’s somewhat cheap, those $3 extra dollars make me more hesitant to get him outright when could upgrade elsewhere.
In that price range though, ESR still is averaging more than anyone else you would be looking at, and he could be a great pick against newly promoted Brentford in the opening game of the season, especially because we get we will have confirmed lineups for that match ahead of the Fantrax transfer deadline.
Beyond that he’s a wait and see again for me and with a good matchup could be a solid filler on your team.
What do you think of Emile Smith Rowe’s new contract and jersey number? Do you think he will have a big impact this season for the Gunners? Are you considering him for your lineup? Do you miss Robin Van Persie in your lineup every week too? Please share in the comments!