Ian Wright has hailed Arsenal’s youngsters for putting Mikel Arteta “in a fantastic position” by outshining some of the “embarrassing” senior stars who had underachieved for the Gunners this season.
With Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka both coming to the fore with assists and goals in recent weeks, Wright says the pair, particularly Smith Rowe, have made themselves key members of Arteta’s side.
“I think there was a time when they came in it was embarrassing,” ex-Gunners forward Wright told Premier League Productions.
“When they came in they brought that energy and enthusiasm and exuberance.
“We were seeing players who weren’t really at it for him [Arteta].
“In the end he took a massive chance and brought those guys in and they’ve done it, Emile Smith Rowe in particular.
“Nobody was playing that role. Now he’s in a fantastic position because the youngsters have mobilised the senior players have to perform now.”
Smith Rowe says he’s grateful to Arteta for giving him his opportunity.
“I have been abroad and in the Championship and it developed me so much on and off the pitch,” he told Sky Sports after the Newcastle win.
“I feel I have grown and matured into a stronger and more confident person.
“The manager is giving me a chance now. I am so grateful and want to repay him and show him I am good enough to be in this team.”
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