‘A huge breath of fresh air’: Gareth Southgate raves about Arsenal duo

Gareth Southgate admits he has been thrilled to see Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka break through at Arsenal

Emile Smith Rowe
Emile Smith Rowe (Photo: Sky Sports)

Gareth Southgate has admitted that it has been a “huge breath of fresh air” to see Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka break into the Arsenal first team this season.

The pair, who both came through Arsenal’s youth system, have been earning rave reviews for their performances for the north London side this season after Mikel Arteta opted to give them both their chance to shine.

Saka, 19, has scored five goals and made two assists in 22 Premier League games for the north London side so far this term.

Meanwhile, Smith Rowe, 20, has made four assists in 12 Premier League appearances for the Gunners under Arteta this season.

England boss Southgate will be keeping a close eye on the duo as the clock ticks down to this summer’s European championships.

And the Three Lions manager has admitted that he has been delighted to see the pair get their chances at The Emirates this season.

Speaking in an interview with talkSPORT, Southgate said: “Emile Smith Rowe getting his opportunity at Arsenal…

“We know those kids are there and we know the talent is there, but when the buying and spending power of the clubs is greater than anything around Europe, and the pressure is on to have immediate success, it is easier to go and buy the finished product from abroad.

“There was always this blockage for young English players, now they’re getting their chance.

“Those two boys at Arsenal, Saka and Smith Rowe, have been a huge breath of fresh air in their team and there are more across the country if they get their opportunity.”

The pair will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action with a trip to Burnley on Saturday lunchtime.

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