Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe has provided an insight into the impact Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have had on the Gunners this season.
Not many expected Mikel Arteta and Co. to compete for the Premier League title at the start of the season. However, the club are on course to win their first title since 2004 as they sit atop the standings.
Arsenal are first in the table with 69 points, having won 22 and drawn three of their 28 games so far. It would take a huge effort from Manchester City, who are eight points behind, to surpass the toppers before the end of the campaign.
Interestingly, two former Cityzens players are at the forefront of the Gunners’ push for the title. The north London giants signed Jesus and Zinchenko from Pep Guardiola’s side for a combined sum of just under £85 million last summer.
Apart from their contributions on the pitch, it is their mentality that has benefitted Arsenal the most, according to Smith Rowe. Impressed by the duo, the Englishman expressed his surprise at Manchester City’s decision to sell them last summer, telling The Sun:
“Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus coming in felt like it changed the whole dynamic. They’ve been there, they know what it’s like to win stuff. I definitely say a lot of it was down to them coming in because their mentality is unbelievable. Zinchenko is one of the best technical players I’ve seen. I can’t believe City let them go.”
Jesus has bagged five goals and six assists from 16 Premier League appearances for the Gunners. While Zinchenko only has three goal contributions, he has excelled as an inverted full-back.
Emile Smith Rowe expressed desire to play more for Arsenal
Smith Rowe, meanwhile, has found playing time hard to come by at Arsenal this season. He has amassed just 106 minutes of action in the top-flight so far. Speaking to The Sun, he expressed his desire to be involved more often:
“I’m really desperate to play. The team are doing really well and it’s obviously something I want to be a part of. I’m working hard every day. I’ve never really been in this position before being left out so much, really.
“I know the team’s on fire and they’re doing really well. So, I’ve just got to make sure I stay fit as well and when the manager needs me, I’m going to be ready to perform.”
It remains to be seen if Arteta will pay heed to Smith Rowe’s words and play him more often in the final stretch of the season.