Granit Xhaka's teasing claim to Emile Smith Rowe during Arsenal's win over Leeds


Emile Smith Rowe’s impact on the Arsenal first team has been a revelation since he was brought back into the fold on Boxing Day.

The Gunners’ youngster has cemented his place as a guaranteed starter under Mikel Arteta with his impressive form in the No.10 role.

His superb link-up play has been the biggest contribution to his side, with Smith Rowe now boasting six assists in all competitions this season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the latest beneficiary, as Smith Rowe’s arrowed cross allowed him to complete his hat-trick in the 4-2 win over Leeds on Sunday.

But rather than congratulate his teammate, Granit Xhaka was quick to tease Smith Rowe with an audacious claim that he meant to find the net himself.



Granit Xhaka accused Emile Smith Rowe of trying to shoot rather than cross
Granit Xhaka accused Emile Smith Rowe of trying to shoot rather than cross

In footage release on Arsenal’s Twitter account, Xhaka can be heard saying to Smith Rowe after the goal: “You meant to shoot. 100 per cent.”

Xhaka then doubled down on his claim, telling Aubameyang: “He meant to shoot.”

And it seems the Swiss midfielder may well be right.

Smith Rowe himself had opened the floor up for the debate when he tweeted after the match: “Important three points. Cross or shot guys?”



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He added a lying face emoji to accompany his tweet to suggest his assist was actually an attempted effort to find the far corner.

As it happened Aubameyang spared Smith Rowe’s blushes, flying in with a diving header to divert the ball home rather than wide of the target.

Gunners legend Tony Adams completely disagreed with Xhaka though, insisting Smith Rowe’s cross was intended as he compared him to his former Arsenal teammate.

Did Smith Rowe mean his cross to Aubameyang? Have your say below.



Smith Rowe runs to celebrate with Aubameyang after his goal
Smith Rowe runs to celebrate with Aubameyang after his goal

“Smith Rowe has picked Aubameyang out for that goal,” Adams told Premier League productions. “The kid’s got talent, he’s got feet like Robert Pires.

“Pires could run faster with the ball than I could without the ball. Smith Rowe has got real talent.

“He plays everything with one touch. He’s intelligent and seems to know where the ball is going before he even receives it.”

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