Mikel Arteta says Emile Smith Rowe can follow Bukayo Saka’s lead and earn himself a place in the England team.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate told TalkSPORT this week that he’d been monitoring the Arsenal duo in recent months and labelled them “a breath of fresh air”.
While Saka was fast-tracked to the England senior side, injuries have hampered Smith Rowe’s development and he’s yet to progress past under-20 level. That could change later this month. The Croydon-born midfielder is tipped for a call-up to Aidy Bothroyd’s under-21s and Arteta thinks the level up isn’t out the question either.
“I think it is possible,” said the boss when asked if Smith Rowe could get a call from Southgate next week.
“If he shows the same determination as Bukayo, be as humble as he is and play with the personality that he’s done, I think he’s got a great chance.
“Emile has got all the attributes, all the qualities that are needed to play for this football club and, in my opinion, to play for the national team.
“After that it is about finding the consistent level that is required, because obviously that level is as good as it gets. But I think he has shown in moments of this season what he can do.
“So it is about now doing it for longer periods, adding more assists, more goals, being a threat all the time and working as hard as he has been doing because I think he has been phenomenal for us.”
Smith Rowe has made 20 appearances for the Gunners this season, scoring two goals and making six assists. He’s not expected to be involved at Burnley tomorrow having picked up a muscle problem last weekend at Leicester.