Unai Emery hailed the performance of teenager Emile Smith Rowe during Arsenal’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday.
Emery picked an inexperienced team for the match that was played in Kiev due to security concerns following the introduction of martial law in some parts of the Ukraine.
Smith Rowe was one of the players handed an opportunity to impress and he opened the scoring after just 10 minutes – his third goal in his last four appearances for the Gunners.
The 18-year-old, who is yet to make his Premier League debut, played the full 90 minutes of the contest and he was singled out for particular praise from Emery after the match, as the Spaniard feels he is an example to the other young players within the squad.
“He is taking confidence, he is taking responsibility and also I think his performance in 90 minutes is very good,” Emery told a news conference.
“He is a good example for the other young players. We think they can help us but they need the confidence of playing matches, not only working with us in the training sessions.”
Thursday’s victory extended Arsenal’s unbeaten run across all competitions to 18 matches, while the win also guaranteed them top spot in Group E.
The north Londoners, who have the small matter of a derby against Tottenham to come on Sunday, made it through to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season and they are priced at 7.00 to go all the way and win the competition this term.