Arsenal hero Theo Walcott delivers verdict on Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal: Smith Rowe sings Justin Bieber song at initiation

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Arsenal hero Theo Walcott has given his verdict on Gunners star and the newly-capped England international Emile Smith Rowe. Smith Rowe has scored four goals in 11 Premier League appearances so far this season. His early-season form led to a call-up to the senior England squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers.

Smith Rowe made his Three Lions debut as a substitute in the 5-0 win over Albania last Friday before starting and scoring in the 10-0 drubbing of San Marino on Monday.

The 21-year-old wasn’t even a regular in the Arsenal side 12 months ago but is now a full international.

Walcott, who scored over 100 goals for the Gunners, made his debut for the club at the age of 17.

The Southampton winger admits he is a huge fan of Smith Rowe and has not belittled his debut goal for England despite the opposition.

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Walcott told talkSPORT: “Smith Rowe obviously went on loan, he had a bit of a tough time on loan, a couple of injuries as well but he’s come back and shown… I’m a big fan of his.

“I’ve said this in the past, I really do like what he does on the football field and I’m really delighted he obviously got his debut and scored a goal.

“And of course, it doesn’t matter who it was against but as soon as you look down and see that England shirt on, that’s what it’s about.

“It doesn’t matter who the opposition is against. So I’m really pleased for him.”

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Walcott says it has always been the way with Arsenal to give opportunities to their young talent.

He added: “That’s the thing with Arsenal, you’ve always got that opportunity.

“Me being there, I had that opportunity to play when I was young of course.

“I think it’s really important for them as well, they’ve got a lot of experienced players around them as well, which is always going to help them around the place, day to day.

“But you’ve got to give credit to absolutely each individual.”

Following the win over San Marino, Smith Rowe described the moment as “surreal” after scoring a fine goal for Gareth Southgate’s side.

“I’m buzzing to be honest, but the main focus was qualifying tonight and we’re happy we done that today,” he told ITV.

“I think Bukayo [Saka] crossed it and Tammy [Abraham] flicked it on and I shouted for him and it was a decent finish to be fair so I’ll take it.

“It’s a bit surreal to be honest, it’s a shame that my parents were unable to be here to see it, but I’m sure they’ll be proud.”

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