football

Gary Neville claims Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is ‘more clinical’ than Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age


Gary Neville has described Emile Smith Rowe as a ‘beautiful footballer’ (EPA)

Gary Neville believes Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is ‘more clinical’ than Cristiano Ronaldo was at the same age.

Smith Rowe, who joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of 10, has established himself as a key figure under Mikel Arteta and inherited the No.10 shirt earlier this year following Mesut Ozil’s departure.

Arsenal have made a poor start to the new season as they were beaten in each of their opening three Premier League games but Smith Rowe’s performances have been one of the biggest positives in Arteta’s side.

The 21-year-old has scored two Premier League goals so far this term and Neville believes the Arsenal midfielder

‘Cristiano was the first person I ever heard to say he undoubtedly wanted to be the best player in the world,’ Neville told Sky Sports.

‘It’s quite unusual to hear a player [say that] because everybody talks about the team and the collective. To hear Mo Salah say it is refreshing.

Gary Neville believes Emile Smith Rowe is more ‘ruthless’ than Cristiano Ronaldo was at 21 (Getty)

‘I think you can say these things when you are delivering, and these two have delivered now consistently.

‘Ronaldo now for 10, 15 years and Mo Salah for five, six years, and beyond. They are absolutely deadly. They are ruthless and clinical.

‘Everything that Smith Rowe [wants to be], he’s a beautiful footballer Smith Rowe, and he’s got a long way to go in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t as clinical and ruthless at that age.

‘But that’s where he has got to get to. To the point where by every single game, they want to be the best. They want to score the winner. They believe they are going to score the winner. Confidence is unbelievable.’

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