Emile Smith Rowe “reaping rewards” of hard work after stunning Arsenal emergence

Emile Smith Rowe, England’s under-17 World Cup champion, has scored nine goals in all competitions this season and will look for his 10th against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

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Steve Cooper says Emile Smith Rowe’s rise to the top is proof that hard work pays off.

The Nottingham Forest manager coached the young defender when he was in charge of the England Under-17 team that won the World Cup in 2017.

Smith Rowe has become a regular in the Emirates, scoring eight goals in 18 Premier League games this season.

Cuper could do without seeing much of the 21-year-old on Sunday as Forrest plans to knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup on city soil.

But he has nothing but praise for the midfielder, who has been dubbed Croydon De Bruyne.

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Emile Smith Rowe has been in great shape with Arsenal this season


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Cooper said: “Emil was one of a group of very talented boys. When you work with the England team at that age, you wouldn’t get that far if you weren’t.

“They were at an age where you hoped they’d stick around and do things.

“Reaching his furthest is a true testament to the work he has done in his academy. And Emil is now one of those who are starting to have a really exciting career.

“But we all know that talent is not the only part of getting to the top, which is the Premier League. To stay there you need a lot of other things too.

“It’s great to see so many people doing so well – but Emil has been especially excellent. It’s a pleasure because I can’t think of a player in that England squad who has worked harder than him in terms of training and preparation.

“I’m not saying the others didn’t work hard but he had a great style and he’s reaping the rewards of that now.”

Cooper has changed Forrest’s fortunes since he took over from Chris Hughton, who had yet to recover from a poor start to the campaign.

One of his performers has been Brennan Johnson, 20 years old, who has attracted a lot of attention during his accomplishment season.

He has already been called up in Wales’ squad. And Cooper issued a challenge to the little one – starting on Sunday.

He said: “I just had a good chat with him about some technical improvements and he took that into account. I’m sure he would want to step back and know he had a good season and not just a good half season.”

Steve Cooper led the England Under-17 team to the World Cup in 2017


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Forrest boosted his promotion by taking on experienced midfielder Steve Cook from Bournemouth.

Cuper added: “Every player should think Arsenal are a good measure. It’s a tougher challenge than the one we face week in and week out.

“I want an ambitious culture for every player to believe they can impose themselves on the game.

“I want them on that page. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be for me. We’re a big soccer team too.

“We need the players to support themselves and look at challenges with confidence rather than fear.”

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