Smith Rowe has become a crucial part of Arteta’s side almost overnight, having only been drafted into a Premier League starting XI for the first time this season for the victory against Chelsea on Boxing Day.
The Englishman has started every league game since as the Gunners’ form has improved markedly and he produced another excellent performance in Monday night’s 3-0 win over Newcastle, setting up a goal for fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka.
In an interview on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football immediately after the game, the 20-year-old was asked which senior player had helped him bed into the side so quickly.
"Alexandre Lacazette,” Smith Rowe said. “Playing with him up top, really helps me. He gives me a lot of confidence off the pitch and he talks to me a lot.”
As well as the Frenchman, Smith Rowe was also quick to praise Arteta for inspiring the confidence that has allowed him to flourish so quickly.
"He tells me so much to play free, clear my mind and be confident,” he added. “If I make a mistake he tells me to carry on. I'm so happy to play for a manager like Mikel who has played for the club and to get these opportunities.”