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Gary Neville Says Arsenal Youngster Is 'More Clinical' Than Cristiano Ronaldo At The Same Age

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Gary Neville Says Arsenal Youngster Is 'More Clinical' Than Cristiano Ronaldo At The Same Age

Gary Neville believes 21-year-old Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe is a better finisher than Cristiano Ronaldo was at the same age.

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Smith Rowe has established himself as a key part of Mikel Arteta's Gunners side in 2021 and took the number 10 shirt during the summer.

Arsenal started the season in poor form but have turned it around in recent weeks, with Smith Rowe being a standout player after goals against Tottenham and Aston Villa.

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Neville told Sky Sports per Metro the midfielder has already proven he can be an elite finisher at such a young age.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"Cristiano [Ronaldo] was the first person I ever heard to say he undoubtedly wanted to be the best player in the world," Neville said.

"It's quite unusual to hear a player [say that] because everybody talks about the team and the collective. To hear Mo Salah say it is refreshing.

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"I think you can say these things when you are delivering, and these two have delivered now consistently.

"Ronaldo now for 10, 15 years and Mo Salah for five, six years, and beyond. They are absolutely deadly. They are ruthless and clinical.

"Everything that Smith Rowe [wants to be], he's a beautiful footballer Smith Rowe, and he's got a long way to go in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn't as clinical and ruthless at that age.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"But that's where he has got to get to. To the point where by every single game, they want to be the best. They want to score the winner. They believe they are going to score the winner. Confidence is unbelievable."

Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners against Villa on Friday evening thanks to goals from Thomas Partey, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Smith Rowe.

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Arteta paid tribute to the Hale End academy graduate post-match and commended his change of lifestyle in recent months.

"When you want to take the game to the next level, when you become a real important player in such a big club, that should be the only priority and every detail is important and relevant," the Spaniard stated.

"You have to make him aware of that, you cannot give percentages away that can make big differences and he has changed that.

"Credit to him and obviously the staff here that are all the time monitoring and build that education with him and he'll only get better.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"He should demand that in his game because he is capable of doing it. I'm pleased that that is developing. He still needs to develop more in other areas as well.

"The other night he wasn't 100 per cent fit but he stepped forward and he wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had.

"There is no complaining, he is just looking forwards, he is really determined, he has changed the way he is living as well a little bit and some of the habits that he had and he's been superb."

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports & PA Images

Topics: Football, Premier League, England, Arsenal, Gary Neville

Daniel Marland
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