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HALE END

Alex Iwobi and Emile Smith Rowe combine to give Arsenal fans new optimism in their academy 

The two academy graduates were instrumental for the Gunners this evening

We always feel a little bit sad when we think of Jack Wilshere.

The once future hope of Arsenal and England’s midfield has long-since stopped being ‘the English Xavi’, having moved to West Ham over the summer as a free agent.

Injury after injury has plagued his career, and you won’t be too surprised to hear he’s currently on the sidelines at the London Stadium with an ankle knock.

What should’ve been, eh?

Times Newspapers Ltd
3
What should’ve been, eh?

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It’s almost as if Wilshere’s demise has somewhat damaged the reputation of Arsenal’s Hale End academy.

After all, in recent seasons they haven’t had many youngsters come through the ranks and become mainstays in the first-team.

Correct us if we’re wrong, but the ones that spring to mind – apart from Wilshere – are Kieran Gibbs, Emmanuel Frimpong and Serge Gnabry – all of whom are long gone.

Gibbs never really made it at Arsenal, did he?

Peter Tarry - The Sunday Times
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Gibbs never really made it at Arsenal, did he?

But with the emergence of Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles last season as well as the form of Alex Iwobi this term, times are a-changing.

In fact, Iwobi combined brilliantly with one of Arsenal’s newest starlets – 18-year-old Emile Smith Rowe, remember the name – to score their second goal of the night in their Europa League clash against Qarabag this evening.

Made at the Hale End

Reuters
3
Made at the Hale End

Scoring his first senior goal for the Gunners, Smith Rowe was perfectly set-up by his fellow academy graduate.

We’re sure their fans absolutely loved that one, and it’s hopefully a sign of things to come at the Emirates.


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