Soccer

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang makes ‘crazy’ claim about Arsenal’s academy

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has credited youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka with the club’s rise in form.

The Gunners have started to turn things around after a poor start to the season, and face Newcastle United tonight with a chance to put some distance between themselves and Leeds United, the team below them in the table.

Arsenal had a dire start to the campaign, but had an impressive festive period and have collected wins in three of their last four Premier League games.

Mikel Arteta has been credited with integrating youth into the side, with Smith-Rowe and Saka both impressing recently.

And in his programme notes for Monday night’s game, Aubameyang expressed his pride in seeing both teenagers prove themselves in the first-team.

He heaped praise on the club’s youth development programme, saying it is "crazy" to see the level of talent coming through the ranks.

“Our young players have been a big part of our recent form and I want to give them some credit for that,” Aubameyang wrote.

“We are lucky to have this really talented group coming through, and I can see from training and now the games how much progress they are making.

“Emile Smith Rowe is doing really well at the moment, he’s still young, so we know he can progress a lot.

“But he’s helped the team a lot since he came back from injury.

“Bukayo Saka has been in the team for a while now but don’t forget he’s still really young as well – it’s crazy when you look at all these good young players coming through here.

“They have all got big, fantastic careers ahead of them, I’m sure about that, because they are all positive guys but humble as well.

“They want to learn, they want to make a big progression and that’s what makes the difference.”

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