Emile Smith Rowe has deserved his Arsenal chance, says Unai Emery

The 17-year-old scored his first senior goal against Atletico Madrid

Emile Smith Rowe during the International Champions Cup 2018 match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal at the National Stadium on July 26, 2018 in Singapore.
Image: Emile Smith Rowe hit a fine equaliser for Arsenal on Thursday

Unai Emery heaped praise on Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe after his fine performance in his first senior start for the club on Thursday.

Smith Rowe, 17, scored a fine equaliser for Arsenal against Atletico Madrid in the ICC, but the Gunners did fall 3-1 on penalties in Singapore.

The midfielder, playing just two days before his 18th birthday, has impressed new Arsenal head coach Emery in training, who says he has been rewarded because of this work rate.

Emile Smith Rowe scored his first senior goal for Arsenal against Atletico Madrid in Singapore 0:22
Watch Smith Rowe's goal

"He is 17 years old but he has grown up in the academy and we need to give the young players the opportunity to work with us every day and play matches like today," Emery said.

"They are working hard in training to be involved with the first team.

Match report
As it happened

"Today I am very happy with his work on the pitch, but not only today. It's every day. He's starting today's match because his performances have been good in every training session."

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Emery, who also gave playing time to a host of Arsenal youngsters, including Reiss Nelson, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Eddie Nketiah, also challenged the other young players in the squad to take their chance.

xxx during the International Champions Cup 2018 match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal at the National Stadium on July 26, 2018 in Singapore.
Image: Smith Rowe scored his first senior goal

"I think this is the moment for the young players to show quality like Emile did. Historically, Arsenal has worked with young players to give them the chance to work with the first team, for them to show their quality in each match.

"Today I think that every player played well in this game, against a big team.

"For Smith Rowe to score is very good for him and the team. What's important for us is that every young player is working very hard."

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