Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has come of age and is becoming impossible for England to ignore

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Just days after Emile Smith Rowe was left out of the England squad, the Arsenal youngster gave Gareth Southgate a reminder of how he is loudly knocking on the door by scoring the winner against Watford.

Last season we saw glimpses of Smith Rowe’s talent, but now he is beginning to flourish into a player with a lethal output.

The 21-year-old has now scored four goals in his last eight games and, while England and Southgate do not want to rush his development, it feels like he is getting hard to ignore. Smith Rowe ended up being the difference against Watford, scoring the only goal in the 56th minute. He took it well too, firing past Ben Foster from just outside the box.

It was always going to take something special to beat Foster, who before that had played like a man possessed and determined to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal for the first time in his career.

The 38-year-old Watford goalkeeper saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty in the first-half and he also made an excellent stop to keep out Gabriel’s header.

Smith Rowe, however, eventually found a way past him on an afternoon that otherwise looked as though it would end in frustration for Arsenal.

As it was, Smith Rowe managed to be the difference and the chance to shine for England doesn’t feel far away either.

Gabriel and White shine at the back

Arsenal now boast a centre-back partnership that cost around £75million and, on the evidence of this season, that is money well spent.

Ben White and Gabriel are developing into a formidable pairing at the back and they were excellent against Watford.

The pair barely put a foot wrong against the Hornets and striker Josh King didn’t really have a sniff all game.

It is early days but Gabriel and White seem to be an ideal partnership, with the latter’s ability on the ball complimenting the former’s strength and power in the tackle.

We saw White’s prowess on the ball for Arsenal’s goal, with his mazy run eventually leading to Smith Rowe firing home. It was a great piece of skill and one any midfielder, never mind a defender, would’ve been happy with.

As for Gabriel, he dominated everything at the back and won anything that came his way. It’s now 218 days since he lost a game for Arsenal.

Aubameyang has rare off-day

Before this game, it would be safe to say that Aubameyang loved playing against Watford.

The Gabon forward had scored six goals in his last five Premier League appearances against the Hornets and you thought he would add a few more today.

But Aubameyang missed a penalty and had another ruled out for offside during what was a frustrating day for the Arsenal captain.

He never really got going and, after a recent upturn in form, this was a rare off-day for Aubameyang.

Arsenal and Arteta will hope it is just a bump in the road as they prepare to travel to Liverpool after the international break.

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