The respect between Cesc Fabregas and Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe goes both ways as the former Arsenal star has given a glowing review of the star pair.
The two Engish talents are the future of the north London club as their meteoric rise continues.
Saka burst onto the scene last season and earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020, while Smith Rowe has cemented his place in Mikel Arteta’s side this term with a number of standout performances.
And Fabregas is clearly enjoying their rise to stardom as he paid the duo the highest of compliments during a Twitter Q&A.
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Asked which current Arsenal players he enjoys watching the most, he said: “Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.”
And those sentiments were echoed by Pep Mertesacker earlier this month who reckons the pair will lead Arsenal back to the promised land – the Champions League.
Mertesacker also revealed that Smith Rowe and Saka looked up to Fabregas as a role model for how he came through the Hale End academy ranks.
He told The Mirror : “It’s always been a narrative at Arsenal to give young players a chance to play at the top. We’re asking Bukayo and Emile to lead us back to the Champions League. They will proudly take that but we also have to understand the context
“It’s always been there. If you ask Bukayo and Emile they will tell you how they were inspired by Jack Wilshere, Fabregas, Bellerin. So the next generation of Under 9 players at the academy will be inspired by these players.
“However they will speak about the bumpy road, their learning, that journey that hasn’t always been easy. The reality is that these two are exceptions.
“The academy staff has always given its all in delivering players to the highest level which can make a difference in our first team or in some other first team. That is hugely important to the club and will always be a priority.
“We are giving young players the chance to learn to be vulnerable, to be exposed to the highest level and to be proper leaders for this club in two or three years’ time, while acknowledging they probably need to suffer before they bring us back to glory.
“That’s my expectations. Hopefully Bukayo and Emile can take on the next level of talent into the first team and challenge them in the right way.”Internet Explorer Channel Network