England boss Gareth Southgate heaped praise on Arsenal youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe earlier this week.
The two Hale End graduates have arguably been our best players this season. Their performances are being recognised by everyone now, and if they keep this up until the end of this term, they might get a spot in England’s Euros squad.
Southgate claimed that Saka and Smith Rowe have been a breath of fresh air at Arsenal this season, and he isn’t wrong.
He told TalkSport: “Eighteen or so months ago, every Saturday we were about 30 per cent of the league, English qualified players.
“This year that’s up to 40 per cent and that doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you think that the likes of perhaps an Emile Smith Rowe getting his opportunity at Arsenal, we know those kids are there, we know the talent is there.
“The boys at Arsenal for example, Saka and Smith Rowe, have been a huge breath of fresh air in their team. There are more across the country if they get the opportunity.”
Mikel Arteta was asked about Southgate’s comments in his press conference yesterday and the Arsenal boss was delighted. He claimed that everyone at the club should be really proud and happy about the pair potentially representing England this summer.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “Obviously we know the staff and we know how they are looking at them.
“We are extremely happy and proud that they can be used with England because that means we can provide some talent that has come through our academy and I think there is nothing better for us than that.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
There genuinely isn’t a better feeling for an academy than to see a graduate represent the club and the country at the highest level.
Saka and Smith Rowe have been absolutely incredible for us this season. The pair will go on to have a fantastic career at Arsenal and England, but it will be interesting to see if they get the nod for the Euros this summer.
Smith Rowe is having his troubles with injuries and the young Englishman plays in a position where the competition is massive. That could cost him a place in the squad, but he should not be disappointed one bit.
Saka, on the other hand, has to be in the squad for England after the season he has had. He has been the best young player in the Premier League and he deserves to start at the Euros more than most others who are eyeing his position.