Martin Keown raves about ‘absolutely outstanding’ Arsenal duo

Former Arsenal star Martin Keown singles out Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka for special praise

Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown has lavished praise on Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka after the duo helped Arsenal to book their place in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night.

The Gunners duo have been earning lots of praise for their performances for the north London side this season in what has been a difficult campaign for Mikel Arteta’s men.

Smith Rowe and Saka were in fine form once again on Thursday night as they helped Arsenal to claim a 4-0 victory over Slavia Prague and set up a Europa League semi-final showdown against Unai Emery’s Villarreal.

Smith Rowe set up Nicolas Pepe’s opener in the game and Saka netted the Gunners’ third goal as Arteta’s men ran riot to claim a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Both Saka and Smith Rowe came through Arsenal’s academy and former Gunners defender Keown was full of praise for the pair following their sparkling performances against Slavia Prague.

Speaking on BT Sport after the game, Keown said: “Really impressive and it’s all areas of the pitch.

“From the back to the midfield… and up front, you look at Saka and Smith Rowe, they are real talents.

“Absolutely outstanding. Saka, he can play almost anywhere. We were listening to his PE teacher tell us what a good player he was in any position, he proved that tonight.

“This fella [Smith Rowe], two nutmegs and the composure there. How’s he getting through there [when assisting Pepe’s goal]? He’s got composure determination, he doesn’t panic and this is really clever, little nutmeg and a second one with the pass.

“Pepe, because he delays that shot with an extra touch, brilliant the way he lifted over the keeper.

“We asked a lot of questions of them before the game and they’ve come up with the answers. They’ve done their talking on the pitch.

“I’m really pleased actually, it’s the young players coming from the academy that are leading the way. It’s about bolting players on to that, they’re the present and the future and they’re showing that tonight.”

Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Fulham at The Emirates. They will then take on Everton on 23 April.

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