Premier League • England

‘Not a coincidence’ – Arteta explains Arsenal ace’s incredible feat; makes Champions League admission

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's win at Leicester

Mikel Arteta explained why Emile Smith Rowe’s goalscoring feats are not a one-off, and made a Champions League admission as Arsenal chase top four.

Smith Rowe, 21, has taken a giant leap forward in the goalscoring department this season. The vibrant attacker has plundered nine league goals in 21 outings thus far. That figure that puts him five ahead of the total he reached in all of last season.

What makes that number even more impressive is the fact he has not always completed 90 minutes this term. Indeed, Smith Rowe scored three times in a three-match run in December from just 44 minutes of action off the bench.

Now, speaking in his Wednesday press conference (via Football London), Arsenal boss Arteta explained why Smith Rowe’s goalscoring exploits are “not a coincedence”.

“The numbers should be looking something like this and that’s not a coincidence,” said Arteta. “He’s working every day because he knows he has the capacity to do this.”

Smith Rowe in a good place on and off the pitch

When asked to pinpoint the reasons behind his rapid rise, Arteta added: “I think it’s a combination of everything.

“He needs to feel that confidence and trust around the coaching staff. He needs his teammates, he needs to feel love, he needs the right environment around him with his family, girlfriend or whatever.”

The Sun recently reported Arteta is in line for a new contract in north London. The outlet claimed a new three-year deal worth £8.3m-per-season is in the works.

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On the subject of his contract talks, Arteta said: “I am really happy here.

“My aim is to build with the club a winning team that can transmit what we want football-wise and as an organisation.”

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Arteta on Champions League, Wilshere signing

Attention then turned to the club’s Champions League ambitions ahead of their crunch clash with Wolves on Thursday night.

The Gunners currently lay in sixth position, four points behind fourth-placed Man Utd. However they hold three games in hand over both United and fifth-placed West Ham.

Tottenham and Wolves are also entrenched in the fierce battle for fourth as Arsenal seek to secure Champions League football for the first time since 2016/17.

When asked if he misses the elite competition, the Spaniard admitted: “I do a lot because as a football player I’ve experienced it and it’s one the best you can have.

“As a club you play in a competition that brings the club into a different dimension.”

Former Arsenal favourite Jack Wilshere finally found a new club in Denmark earlier this week.

Jack Wilshere new club (image via Aarhus Gymnastikforening official website)

The 30-year-old signed with Danish Superliga side Aarhus after building up his fitness with the Gunners in recent months.

“First of all thank you for what he’s done,” said Arteta of Wilshere. “It’s been great to have him, to enjoy watching him play again. Hopefully we can help him.

“He had some doubts over what to do and I think this group of players have given him the experience of how magnificent it is to feel like a football player.”

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