Emile Smith Rowe says he and Bukayo Saka are benefitting from the support of Arsenal’s senior players as they look to up their game in and around the box.
Both on the scoresheet in the north London derby, the pair carried their goalscoring form into the Interlull with Smith Rowe netting in a man of the match performance for England under-21s against Andorra and Saka doing the same for the senior squad.
Challenged to up their stats by Mikel Arteta, the signs are positive that hard work on the training ground is paying off.
“[Arteta] has spoken to us and given us so much confidence to stay calm,” Smith Rowe told reporters.
“We know we’re going to be getting into these positions. Because we’re both young players we’ve got to stay as calm as possible and just focus on the goal really.
“We’ve been practising a lot in training, after training and we get the support from the experienced players in the team as well, they’re always helping us. It’s really good at Arsenal, we’re really happy with the help we’re getting.”
Smith Rowe isn’t just benefitting from life alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette. Arsenal confirmed last week that former midfielder Jack Wilshere is also training with the club.
While the former England international, 29, is there to maintain fitness and work on his coaching badges, he’s also keeping a close eye on the Gunners’ young talent and we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s sharing a few tips of his own.
“He [Smith Rowe] is a player that I really like,” said Wilshere in an interview with Sky Sports.
“He came into the team really last year and sort of made the position his but I think this season, even in the bad results he was the one player, the one shining light.
“He carries the ball so well in that transition from defence to attack. He is crucial to how this team wants to play.
He added: “He had a great season last season. But this season, the consistency, at such a young age to be Arsenal’s, for me either him or Saka, probably him their best player this season so far is credit to him.”