Former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has suggested Mikel Arteta’s best talents are Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
The German, who these days works in the club’s development structure, believes Saka and Rowe are the two players to return Arsenal to the UEFA Champions League.
“It’s always been a narrative at Arsenal to give young players a chance to play at the top. We’re asking Bukayo (Saka) and Emile (Smith Rowe) to lead us back to the Champions League. They will proudly take that but we also have to understand the context,” the club’s academy director told the Mirror.
“It’s always been there. If you ask Bukayo and Emile they will tell you how they were inspired by Jack Wilshere, Fabregas, Bellerin. So the next generation of Under 9 players at the academy will be inspired by these players.
“However they will speak about the bumpy road, their learning, that journey that hasn’t always been easy. The reality is that these two are exceptions
“That’s my expectations. Hopefully, Bukayo and Emile can take on the next level of talent into the first team and challenge them in the right way,” the Mertesacker concluded.
Coming up next for the Gunners is the visit of Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace to the Emirates this weekend.