Why Leeds United signing Emile Smith Rowe on loan would be a smart move
According to the Daily Mail, Leeds United are interested in signing Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe on a season-long loan deal.
The 20-year-old is also courting interest from AS Monaco, who have already had a bid rejected. Crystal Palace and Fulham are also keen.on the youngster, along with Leeds. (h/t Daily Mail)
Croydon-born Smith Rowe has been with the Arsenal academy since a very young age. The attacking midfielder made his first-team debut for the Gunners in September 2018 and has since gone on to make 12 appearances, scoring three goals in the process. (h/t Transfermarkt)
The youngster spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan at German outfit RB Leipzig, but did not get enough game time. Following that, he was loaned out to Championship side Huddersfield Town in the second half of the 2019/20 term, and Smith Rowe made an impression in a short time at the club.
The Arsenal youngster has represented the England national team at all age groups from U16s to the U20s.
Leeds’ need for reinforcements in the final third
Leeds United are back in the Premier League after a 16-year long wait. And they will need to strengthen their squad across all areas of the pitch if they are to maintain their top-flight status in the coming seasons.
Marcelo Bielsa favoured the 4-1-4-1 formation in the 2019/20 campaign, a setup which requires two central attacking midfielders. While Mateusz Klich is one of the regulars in the position, the manager shuffled between Pablo Hernandez and Tyler Roberts alongside him.
However, with Roberts failing to make the most of his chances, and Hernandez entering the final phase of his career at 35, Leeds must bring in another attack-minded midfielder this summer.
And signing Smith Rowe on loan from Arsenal would serve that purpose for the 2019/20 EFL Championship winners. The 20-year-old showed his quality during the loan spell at Huddersfield, when he contributed with two goals and three assists in 19 Championship appearances. (h/t Transfermarkt)
Signing him would provide Leeds with depth in the attacking midfield position. Furthermore, the fact that Smith Rowe can also play on the flanks and also as a No.8 would provide Leeds with added options and flexibility with regards to team selection and tactics as well.
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Back in the Premier League, Leeds United need to have enough quality and depth in the squad if they are to make a strong impression. And with little depth beyond Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich for the attacking midfield slots, signing Smith Rowe on loan would be a step in the right direction.