Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes Emile Smith Rowe “is one of the best” products to emerge from the Gunners’ academy.

The 22-year-old was thrown into the action earlier than anticipated against Bournemouth, after Leandro Trossard limped off the field injured in the 22nd minute.

However, Smith Rowe soon made his mark, setting up Thomas Partey to score Arsenal’s opening goal as the Gunners launched an almighty comeback.

The win leaves Arsenal five points clear of title rivals Manchester City, as the Gunners take one step closer to their first domestic title since 2004.

Parlour labels Smith Rowe a “top player”

Among all the shining stars who have risen through Arsenal’s academy, Parlour reckons Smith Rowe could be the pick of the bunch.

He told The Daily Star: “Saka has obviously been absolutely brilliant so he would be up there.

“Jack Wilshere would certainly be one of them. I’m pleased he’s still involved in the club.

“I know he’s had his injuries, but I think potentially Smith Rowe is one of the best Hale End graduates,” Parlour explained. “He will be a top player.”

Smith Rowe’s season has been hampered by injuries after he required surgery on his groin, limiting him to just seven Premier League appearances.

However, his return to fitness could prove vital as Arteta looks to fend off second-placed Manchester City.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was full of praise for the midfielder last season, following a glowing performance in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

Carragher told Sky Sports: “I always want him to do well, you’re urging him on. To watch him in full flow, I’ve said he’s the best player in the Premier League running the ball.

“He’s so exciting, the pace, moving with the ball. He’s a special talent. He can pop up in different positions, he has that ability to play all four positions up top and that’s a real bonus.”