“I only see pleasure and happiness” – Arteta delighted for his English trio – Arseblog News
Mikel Arteta says he is delighted to see three of his young English players representing their country and believes the opportunity to share such experiences is beneficial for Arsenal.
Emile Smith Rowe was called up late to Gareth Southgate’s squad for their final World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino and made an instant impact with a bench start at Wembley followed by a goal during his first departure.
The 21-year-old midfielder was joined on the pitch in Game 2 by Bukayo Saka and another debutant Aaron Ramsdale as England fielded three Gunners at the same time for the first time since 2014.
Of Smith Rowe who had his chance to shine, Arteta said: “First of all I was surprised because it happened right after the game against Watford but I was extremely happy for him.
“I know the expectations he had, a lot of discussion around him and he really enjoyed it. I saw him yesterday and he was delighted.
“Scoring for his country is always something special and he made us proud. Not just him, but obviously Bukayo and Aaron starting for the national team is a good sign for the club.
He added: “I see it as a reward. In Emile’s case, it was his first time. [A reward] not just for what he does on the pitch, but also for the maturity he shows in handling a lot of different situations that have happened very, very quickly for him over the course of his career over the last few months.
“I only see pleasure and happiness. Obviously, for them to bond in this environment, this elite environment, it’s very, very beneficial.
After exposing his ambition to become England’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of next year’s World Cup, Aaron Ramsdale was unsurprisingly over the moon to secure his first cap despite having next to nothing to do in the 6-0 maim San Marino.
“He had the chance, he took the chance and he showed the progress and the quality he showed in the performances [for Arsenal]”said Arteta.
“At the end of the day they trusted him to put on this shirt and start for England which is a great thing. I’m delighted for him.
Back in London Colney in nearly identical olive tracksuits, Saka, Ramsdale and Smith Rowe quickly found themselves on the receiving the end of a stick from Sambi Lokonga, who jokingly pointed out that they had “No personality, yeah… that’s crazy.” Not the type to miss a chance to dig, Kieran Tierney quickly resumed: “Typical Englishman, my brother”.
All the fun and games.