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Emile Smith Rowe heaps praise on Declan Rice

Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe has heaped praise on West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice ahead of his move to the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have reached an agreement in principle with the Hammers for the 24-year-old. A deal worth £105 million is set to be finalised once the payment terms are sorted.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Smith Rowe hailed the qualities of his compatriot, and said that he was really really good during the training sessions in the England set-up.

He said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him. I remember my first camp and I was surprised with how good he actually was.”

“He was the best in training. Just his level, intensity, technically, everything he was doing. A real leader and still so young. He was really, really good.”

Meanwhile, the Gunners graduate said that it’s good for the club to strengthen the squad after the arrival of Kai Havertz from Chelsea.

The 22-year-old is hopeful that the team can go one step further next season with the extra competition for places.

“I see what happens and obviously it’s good for the club to add strength to the team.”

“I feel like the additions we’re making are going to really help the team progress again.

“It’s really exciting so hopefully we can go one step further next season.

“Of course (it is extra competition with Havertz arrival), but this is football.

“You’ve just got to get on with it. I’ve got to keep working hard and it’s healthy competition. I’ve got to keep fighting.”

Smith Rowe concluded his interview by saying that he is unsure over his position at Arsenal.

However, he is happy to play anywhere next term and will have conversation over the same.

“I did see a lot of talk about my position but I’m not really sure what they think. I’m happy to play anywhere.”

“Maybe it is inside, maybe it’s wide. I’ll be having that conversation when I get back.”

Smith Rowe will be keen to redeem himself next season

Smith Rowe had a good 2021/22 season with the Gunners. He scored 10 goals in the Premier League alongside two assists.

It was anticipated that he would get better last season, but his campaign was hampered by a groin surgery.

Upon his return, he was limited to just 195 minutes of playing time, but still managed a couple of assists.

Smith Rowe is currently with the England Under-21s at the Euros where he has scored a couple of goals.

The 22-year-old will be aiming to guide the nation to the title before linking up with Arsenal in pre-season.

He could be a future number eight for the Gunners, but is bound to face competition from Havertz.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com 

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