February 28, 2021

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Tony Adams likened Emile Smith Rowe to Arsenal legend Robert Pires (Pictures: Getty / YouTube)

Tony Adams likened Emile Smith Rowe to Arsenal legend Robert Pires after he helped the Gunners beat Leeds United in an entertaining Premier League clash at the Emirates on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side scored three first-half goals and stormed into a four-goal lead before the visitors threatened to mount a comeback with two second-half goals.

Smith Rowe, who is enjoying a breakthrough season at Arsenal, produced another impressive performance and provided the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick goal shortly after half-time.

Adams was impressed by Arsenal youngsters Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka – describing the duo as ‘exceptional’ – and even likened the former to Gunners hero and Premier League legend Pires.

‘Smith Rowe has picked Aubameyang out for that goal,’ Adams told Premier League productions.

‘The kid’s got talent, he’s got feet like Robert Pires. Pires could run faster with the ball than I could without the ball. Smith Rowe has got real talent.

‘He plays everything with one touch. He’s intelligent and seems to know where the ball is going before he even receives it.

Smith Rowe is enjoying a breakthrough season at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)

‘Smith Rowe and Saka were instrumental in all the goals today. They were both exceptional.’

The former Arsenal captain added: ‘Well done to the captain [Aubameyang]. He got himself a hat-trick but it actually came down to the kids today with Saka and Emile.

‘He really benefitted from their enthusiasm and talent, they really took the game to Leeds today and Aubameyang gets himself three goals because of it.

‘Leeds didn’t wake up until they were 4-0 down, it was never really in doubt.’

Aubameyang’s hat-trick was his first for Arsenal in the Premier League and Arteta paid tribute to the Gabon international in his post-match interview.

‘We have been missing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goals and him at his best,’ said Arteta.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal beat Leeds (Picture: Getty)

‘He has been training after a difficult period with a family issue and we had a feeling he could be key in this game.

‘We know that a big part of our future success is related to Auba being at his best and scoring as many goals as possible.

‘If he is in that type of form we are going to be closer to winning football matches, that is for sure – we cannot just rely on him but he is a big piece of our puzzle and you saw today that when he is firing he is a difficult player to play against.’

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