Arteta challenges Smith Rowe to add goals after breaking league duck

Smith Rowe has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign but his strike in Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Brom was his first ever Premier League goal. 

The result relegated the Baggies as Smith Rowe turned home a cross from fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka before Nicolas Pepe and Willian added further fine efforts either side of a Matheus Pereira consolation.

It also means Arsenal have an outside chance of achieving European qualification for next season heading into the final three matches of the campaign.

Smith Rowe had been tipped as an outsider for England’s Euro 2020 squad but missed out on a place in the March qualifiers and now looks set to spend the summer at home.

But Arteta believes the Croydon-born midfielder has the potential to become one of the best in his position in the coming years.

“He’s having an incredible season ever since he started to play in December,” Arteta said when asked if Smith Rowe’s maiden Premier League goal will be the first of many.

“But he’s scoring his first Premier League goal. An incredible season for a number 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give 10 assists.

“Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league. He’s got the ability to do it but he hasn’t done it.

“We need to stay calm with him, give him the right support and step by step I think he will be getting there.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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