“We are so back”, “Used to pray for times like this” – Arsenal fans react as 23-year-old star named in XI to face Nottingham Forest

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Arsenal fans are delighted with Mikel Arteta’s decision to start Emile Smith Rowe in their league encounter with Nottingham Forest tonight (January 30).

Smith Rowe has endured a frustrating season that has been plagued by a lack of game time. The English attacker has started just one of seven league games with Arteta preferring the likes of Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard.

There was speculation over the young midfielder’s future at Arsenal last summer. Chelsea were reportedly eyeing a late swoop for the England U21 international but he remained at the Emirates.

Smith Rowe gets his chance to impress tonight with the Gunners looking to build on their 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace last time out. They sit third in the league, trailing leaders Liverpool by four points after 21 games.

Arteta has chosen David Raya in goal, with Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Oleksandr Zinchenko in defense.

Meanwhile, Smith Rowe starts in midfield alongside Odegaard and Declan Rice. It means Havertz drops to the bench with the German continuing to come under fire following his £65 million move from Chelsea.

The familiar front three of Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, and Bukayo Saka continue in attack. They will be hoping to get back to their best amid a somewhat lackluster as a collective during the ongoing season.

However, much of the pre-match talk regarding Arsenal‘s starting lineup surrounds Smith Rowe’s inclusion.

One fan was overjoyed to see Smith Rowe in the Gunners’ starting lineup:

“No way Emile Smith Rowe. We are so back and Gabriel is starting.”

Another fan echoed those sentiments:

“Smith Rowe starts i use to pray for times like this.”

Here’s how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Smith Rowe being handed a rare start:


Emile Smith Rowe named Arsenal icon Dennis Bergkamp as his childhood idol

Emile Smith Rowe grew up admiring Dennis Bergkamp.

Thank You!

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