5th April 2022,
Updated: 5th April 2022,
Wayne Rooney has revealed he enquired about bringing Emile Smith Rowe to Derby on loan when he first became Derby boss.
Smith Rowe is now a fully-fledged member of the Arsenal first-team and also an England international, having been called up by Gareth Southgate earlier this season.
But, according to Rooney, he could’ve been on the Rams’ books and played in the Championship during the 2020/21 campaign.
“Yeah, I am [a fan],” Rooney said on Sky Sports. “I think he’s a fantastic young player.
“When I first went in as manager of Derby, he’s actually a player who I enquired about to try and bring in on loan.”
Smith Rowe played in the second tier for Huddersfield the season before, scoring twice and assisting three times in 19 games.
He started to show his quality in that loan spell and has continued to do that since then, starring for Arsenal in the Premier League on multiple occasions.
Rooney continued his praise for the 21-year-old – making an interesting comparison between Smith Rowe and a former Liverpool midfielder.
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“He can take the ball with both feet, he can score goals, create goals. I really like him and think he’s got a bright future,” Rooney added.
“I think he’s quite similar to Adam Lallana in how he runs with the ball and off both feet.
“He makes good runs to get in behind. He’s got an eye for goal. I really like him.”
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