'Emile has that extra second, that extra touch'

Emile Smith Rowe

Another game, another Emile Smith Rowe masterclass.

The 20-year-old was in inspired form against Slavia Prague, and moments after seeing a goal disallowed himself, he set up the opener for Nicolas Pepe.

It was a wonderful bit of skill from Smith Rowe to create the chance for his team-mate, and Mikel Arteta says it underlines his innate coolness under pressure.

"Top players in the final third or around the box have composure," he said. "That extra second, that extra pass, that extra touch... they are in control.

"Emile had it, to wait for the right moment for the pass. Nico did it as well by not rushing his finish. He took a touch, he took an extra touch and then he made the right decision.

"It's all about being calm and that composure in the final third. That makes a huge difference."

Smith Rowe has made a major impact since coming into the team in late December, and Arteta praised the way he has embraced the challenge.

"When you are young and you go through new experiences, it's really important that these first experiences are positive, because it gives you such a confidence boost in yourself," he said.

"These experiences will have a huge impact on where the boys were a year ago and where they are now, and the expectation they are producing.

"All that has come in a really positive way so that speeds up the process of our young talent in the development phase. I think that's really positive for them and really positive for the team and the club."

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