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Rio Ferdinand compares Emile Smith Rowe to Robert Pires amid stunning Arsenal form

Smith Rowe earned his first senior England call-up this week following a series of withdrawals from Gareth Southgate’s squad

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Rio Ferdinand has compared Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe to club legend Robert Pires, amid the 21-year-old’s impressive run of form.

Smith Rowe has scored five goals and recorded two assists in 13 appearances across the Premier League and Carabao Cup this season, earning him a first senior England call-up this week following a series of withdrawals from Gareth Southgate’s squad.

And former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has likened the youngster to old Arsenal rival Pires, who won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners between 2000 and 2006.

“There’s a team, there’s a united team [at Arsenal],” Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel. “There’s a togetherness that I haven’t seen at Arsenal for a long time.

“There’s nobody doing more right now than Emile Smith Rowe.

“He reminds me, with more end product it seems right now and I think he’ll go onto levels, his style is a little bit [Alexander] Hleb. He plays low, socks similar, the way he moves and manipulates the ball, can keep people off balance all game.

“He’s got a bit of Hleb about him. He’s got a Robert Pires vibe a little bit.”

Smith Rowe’s first Three Lions call-up sees him in the squad for this week’s World Cup qualifying clashes with Albania and San Marino.

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