Arsenal: Arteta assesses the January transfer window
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been praised for bringing Emile Smith Rowe into the fold. Rio Ferdinand believes the Gunners manager had problems with creativity in midfield and the young Englishman has solved those issues.
Arsenal were in fine form against Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Despite going a goal down after five minutes to Stuart Armstrong, the Gunners bounced back straight away through Nicolas Pepe.
Bukayo Saka then put on a show, scoring and then grabbing an assist to make it 3-1.
The result takes Arsenal into the top-half, sitting eighth ahead of Aston Villa and Chelsea.
It is not perfect but Arteta is turning the season around when at one point there was a genuine fear of a relegation scrap.
And much of that is down to one change made in midfield – the emergence of Smith Rowe.
Arsenal have not lost a match since his first match against Chelsea on Boxing Day, the exception being an FA Cup match the 20-year-old missed through injury.
The Croydon-born ace has brought a much-needed fervour in midfield, linking up brilliantly with the forwards.
That was not evident throughout the first half of the season and Arsenal suffered as a result.
And Ferdinand has praised Arteta for bringing the youngster through.
He said on BT Sport: “Great night for Arsenal. I think the way they played, the foundations of that performance, was from the hard work, the press high up the pitch.
“I think the instigator of that was Smith Rowe. He’s been brought in, a young graduate from the academy, and that was foundation that set everything up.
“Arsenal, we always spoke about how they played great football, entertained us, scored some fabulous goals over the past few years.
“But that element that we’re talking about – the press from the front, to be able to really suffocate teams is where they’ve probably let themselves down at times. Today they got it right.”
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