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Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe compared to Robert Pires by Rio Ferdinand


‘He’s got a bit of a Robert Pires vibe’: Rio Ferdinand compares Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe to ‘Invincibles’ legend amid the midfielder who plays a key role in Gunners’ outstanding 10-game unbeaten run

Rio Ferdinand believes Emile Smith Rowe has been the key player in Arsenal’s excellent unbeaten run and has compared him to the club’s former midfield stars Robert Pires and Alexander Hleb.

After a terrible start to the season in which they were bottom after three games, Arsenal have since gone on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with Mikel Arteta’s side moving up the rankings to the European battle as well as the quarter-finals of the League cup.

While former Manchester United defender Ferdinand praised the Gunners’ entire team ethic, he cited Smith Rowe for playing a lead role.

Emile Smith Rowe was in excellent form for Arsenal at the start of the season

Speaking before Smith Rowe’s England call-up on Tuesday, he said on the Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel that: ‘There is a team, there is a united team. There’s a sense of community that I haven’t seen at Arsenal in a long time.

“No one is currently doing more than Emile Smith Rowe.”

Ferdinand compared the midfielder to Robert Pires, who was a key member of the last Arsenal side to win the league 17 years ago, where they went unbeaten for the season and became known as the ‘Invincibles’.

Robert Pires was part of Arsenal's last title-winning campaign in 2004

Alex Hleb was a key midfielder for the Gunners for three seasons before leaving in 2008

Rio Ferdinand has compared the midfielder to previous Arsenal stars Robert Pires (left) and Alexander Hleb (right), while claiming more of the 21-year-old is to come.

Ferdinand insists Smith Rowe has been a key driver of Arsenal's recent resurgence

Ferdinand insists Smith Rowe has been a key driver of Arsenal’s recent resurgence

But the former United star also claimed the 21-year-old also had a similar style to Alexander Hleb, who also impressed in north London before leaving for Barcelona in 2008.

“He reminds me, with more finished product it seems now and I think he will go on levels, his style is a bit Hleb,” Ferdinand added.

“He plays low, socks similar, the way he moves and manipulates the ball can throw people off balance throughout the game. He’s got a bit of Hleb about him!

The 21-year-old's good form has earned him a first senior call-up to the England team

The 21-year-old’s good form has earned him a first senior call-up to the England team

He has a bit of a Robert Pires vibe.”

Arsenal turned down offers from Aston Villa last summer before Smith Rowe was tied to a new five-year deal.

The midfielder has played in all but one of Arsenal’s games this season and has already scored four league goals, including three in his previous three games.

With Arsenal now sixth in the table and ready to battle for a Champions League spot, Smith Rowe has been rewarded for his excellent start to the season with a call-up for the England squad in place of Marcus Rashford.



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