Emile Smith Rowe gets Arsenal rockin’ and rolling on his return | Nick Ames

Midfielder burst on to the scene at the same time as Bukayo Saka and he gave a reminder of his talent against Luton

One of the Emirates Stadium’s favourite ditties, to the tune of the Status Quo classic Rockin’ All Over the World, finishes by acclaiming “Saka and Emile Smith Rowe”. One of those players has done considerably more of the song’s heavy lifting over the past two years so, on a night that never really veered from the procedural, it was heartening to see the balance shift just a little. Defeating a limited, depleted Luton gave little cause for overexcitement but it did suggest the Arsenal faithful are not flogging an entirely dead horse by hailing two lavish homegrown talents in the same breath.

Smith Rowe’s descent from decisive sure thing to bit-part enigma has been a tough watch and owes, more than anything, to a dispiriting run of injuries. Last season he returned from groin surgery to discover Arsenal, for whom he had been a ray of light in two years of relative tedium, had kicked on without him. Arteta, never the keenest of rotators, has deployed him sparingly. Before this, his third top-flight start of the season, Smith Rowe had played 20 minutes of Premier League football since January.

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