Mikel Arteta lauds Emile Smith Rowe after lifestyle change

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta revealed Emile Smith Rowe has adjusted his lifestyle to aid his football career after the academy graduate shone in the victory over Aston Villa on Friday night.

Smith Rowe – who was linked with a move to Villa Park in the summer – got the assist for Thomas Partey’s opener and scored the third as the Gunners ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at the Emirates, and his manager was full of praise for him after the game.

Arteta also revealed the 21-year-old played the full 90 minutes in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday despite carrying an injury.

“When you want to take the game to the next level, when you become a real important player in such a big club, that should be the only priority and every detail is important and relevant,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

“You have to make him aware of that, you cannot give percentages away that can make big differences and he has changed that.

“Credit to him and obviously the staff here that are all the time monitoring and build that education with him and he’ll only get better.

“He should demand that in his game because he is capable of doing it. I’m pleased that that is developing. He still needs to develop more in other areas as well.”

Speaking about the knock the youngster had picked up, Arteta added: “The other night he wasn’t 100 per cent fit but he stepped forward and he wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had.

“There is no complaining, he is just looking forwards, he is really determined, he has changed the way he is living as well a little bit and some of the habits that he had and he’s been superb.”

The victory over Villa lifts the Gunners to ninth in the Premier League table, level on points with Man Utd in sixth, although Arsenal have played a game more.