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Arsenal youngsters repaying Mikel Arteta’s faith as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe excel again

Arsenal technical director Edu admitted the club were looking for a creative midfield player this month as the January transfer window reopens, but he might have to change those plans now.

Emile Smith Rowe has one goal and four assists in 342 minutes for the first team this season, averaging a goal contribution every 68 minutes. The Croydon-born youngster says he wants to become Arsenal’s Kevin De Bruyne and with performances like the one against West Brom, it won’t be long before he’s drawing those comparisons.

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Similarly, Bukayo Saka’s last two goals for Arsenal have both been from Smith Rowe’s assists and the understanding that the Hale End duo have is helping the Gunners have a resurgence in the Premier League.

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce said before the match that Mikel Arteta’s side are “absolutely” in a relegation fight given their position in the Premier League table at the time. Perhaps the Spaniard showed that interview to his players before the game for added motivation because they ripped the Baggies apart throughout the 90 plus minutes.

Alex Lacazette now has five goals in his last four games in all competitions. He’s the top scorer this season and for a player who was almost shipped out to Atletico Madrid in the summer, he continues to show what experience and quality he still has to offer at the age of 29.

Arsenal’s players celebrate their second goal against West Brom (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

10 shots on target is the most an Arsenal team has had in a Premier League game since September 2018 against Cardiff, while there were 20 passes in the build-up to the opener scored by Kieran Tierney. They’ve now scored more league goals following a sequence of 20+ passes than any other side in the league (3).

And that’s exactly what Arteta wants. The process he’s constantly talked about was rightly doubted over the last month as his side languished in the bottom half of…