Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has described Emile Smith Rowe as “phenomenal” and says the Gunners gem has a great chance of breaking into the England team.
The 20-year-old has made a sensational breakthrough this season, becoming the latest Hale End star to become a first-team regular under Mikel Arteta.
He has made 12 Premier League appearances this season, registering four assists, and has scored in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Crucially, Smith Rowe has given Arsenal something that was seriously lacking in the first half of the season – creativity in midfield.
Arteta has backed him to win a place in Gareth Southgate’s side if he is able to follow the example of Bukayo Saka and sustain the performance levels he has shown so far this season.
“I think it’s possible,” Arteta told football.london when asked about the prospect of an England call up for Smith Rowe.
“I think if he shows the same determination as Bukayo, be as humble as he is, and play with personality that he’s done I think he’s got a great chance.
“Emile has got all the attributes and all the qualities, in my opinion, that you need to play for the national team.
“After that it is about finding the consistency required obviously because that level is as good as it gets.
“I think he showed that in moments this season what he can do, but now it’s about doing it for longer periods, adding more assists, more goals and working as hard as he’s been doing because I think he’s been phenomenal for us.”
Smith Rowe has had to bide his time to get a chance in the Arsenal first team but he has taken it superbly and both player and club are now reaping the benefits.
Admittedly, England have a lot of competition in attack, but Smith Rowe certainly has what it takes to make the breakthrough at international level too.