Jamie Carragher backed Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe to get senior England caps following his standout display against Aston Villa.
The 21-year-old has made himself a star of the future for the Gunners with his rise in recent seasons. In fact, after his breakthrough displays last term, he earned a bumper new contract.
He has followed that up with two goals and two assists in nine Premier League games this campaign.
Two of those contributions came in Friday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Smith Rowe assisted Thomas Partey in the first half, before adding Arsenal’s third goal after 56 minutes.
Speaking to Sky Sports‘ coverage of the match, Carragher backed the midfielder to break into Gareth Southgate’s England set-up. Smith Rowe made his Under-21 breakthrough in March this year and has played four times in that age group.
Carragher added that he thinks Smith Rowe is the best player in the Premier League running with the ball.
“He will get England caps, absolutely no doubt,” Carragher said. “It’s a nice problem for Gareth Southgate to have with the abundance of young attacking players.
“There’s no doubt he’ll get England caps but he’ll have to bide his time, I love this lad, I always want him to do well.
“And to watch him with full flow with the ball at his feet. He’s the best player in the Premier League running with the ball.
“He’s a special talent, he can pop up in different positions. If you’re a young attacking player, you have to have the ability to play in all of the front four positions now. And I think he can play all four and that’s a real bonus from him.”
In a more light-hearted conversation, Carragher claimed an assist for Smith Rowe’s goal.
The pundit spoke to the Arsenal midfielder before the match, where he said that he wants to find the net more.
Smith Rowe, Carragher’s Arsenal chat
After earning the Man of the Match award, presenter Kelly Cates said: ” Congratulations on the win, Carra asked you before the game are you looking to add more goals to your game… that’s one way to answer him.”
“Definitely man, it gave me the belief today,” Smith Rowe replied, turning to face Carragher.
Carragher then asked: “Do I get an assist for that?”
Smith Rowe played along, adding: “Yeah, I’ll give you the assist for that. But honestly, I’ve been working so hard in training and stuff.
“I feel you need that luck sometimes, it was a bit of a deflection but I’ll take it.”
In Mikel Arteta’s post-match assessment, the Arsenal boss named an attribute his side must continue to show.