Danny Murphy has waxed lyrical about Emile Smith Rowe following his recent performances in the Premier League, comparing him to Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.
The England youth international has enjoyed a great start to life in the English top-flight, assisting two goals in three starts.
Speaking to talkSPORT (4 January, 12.50pm), the former Liverpool man also lauded the ace for his instant impact upon arrival this season.
Murphy said: “What a young player (Smith-Rowe) is. He’s been thrust into a pressurised situation in the Premier League and he has made such an impact. He’s got good touch, great awareness, threatens the goal, doesn’t mind running without the ball (and is) physically capable as well.”
“He reminds me a little bit of a mix between (former Arsenal schemer) Alexander Hleb, with his close control and great dribbling skills, and a little bit Grealish-y – and not just because his socks are rolled down to his ankle.”
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The praise of Smith Rowe is entirely justified given how well he has played thus far. His ability on and off the ball is incredible for a player who is so young and was evident against West Brom. However, comparing him to a player like Grealish isn’t the best course of action.
I feel the two players are very different especially in the qualities they possess. Despite, the England international’s all-round game, I would liken him to Eden Hazard given how often he dribbles past players and is fouled.
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Arsenal starlet is more akin to the likes of Mesut Ozil and Kevin de Bruyne given how well he finds space and picks out a pass. This was evident in the second goal against the Baggies with the exchange of passes and movement in behind the defence to set up Bukayo Saka.
Smith Rowe is good, but, to compare him to Grealish is a bit much. The two are very clearly different players and have more differences than similarities.