Emile Smith-Rowe has hailed the role of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta in his goal-scoring form – and targeted an England senior call up.
The 21-year-old has scored three goals in his last five games for club and country including the winner against Andorra for England U21s on Monday.
Smith-Rowe says he is loving the confidence and responsibility Gunners’ boss Arteta is giving him, including extra finishing sessions.
He is hoping to earn a senior call from Gareth Southgate if he keeps up his current progress, despite the riches England have in the attacking department.
Smith-Rowe said: “It’s really good at Arsenal, we’re really happy with the help we’re getting.
“The coaches at Arsenal have been helping me so much. That is really important for my game, creating and scoring. I have been working on it and I want to push forward.
“He (Arteta) has spoken to us and given us so much confidence to stay calm. We know we’re going to be getting into these positions. We’ve got to stay as calm as possible and just focus on the goal really.
“We’ve been practising a lot in training, after training and we get the support from the experienced players in the team as well, they’re always helping us.”
On the praise he has been getting, Smith-Rowe says: “I try not to think about it too much. Being a young player at Arsenal I am really happy playing. I never feel pressure.
“I just try to be confident in myself and I have the players and the support around me.
But he is ambitious and keen to one day become a full international. Southgate has sung his praises recently and he added: “I feel grateful he is speaking about me like that in a really positive way.
“I have to work hard and keep my head down and I know the opportunity will come and I will be ready for it.
“It is always an honour to represent my country whatever level it is. The seniors have a really strong team at the moment so I always know it is going to be difficult.
“For me I’ve just got to keep my head down and stay focused and keep doing what I am doing and hopefully I’ll get that opportunity in the future.
“It means a lot to get a winner and my first U21 goal for England. I want to build on this. We go back to our clubs and focus there.
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“The manager wants to play attacking football and it is all about us. The U21 manager (Lee Carsley) gives me so much confidence.”
Arsenal teammate Bukayo Saka is already in the senior squad and Smith-Rowe added: “I am so proud of Bukayo, he is playing really well for Arsenal, and England. As a team, we look up to him. We are close.
“We are really coming together at Arsenal as a team, it is like a family and that has helped us off the pitch. The manager helps us every day and we have to work hard and get good results.”