Gareth Southgate has praised Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe for being a breath of fresh air to Arsenal as he highlights the growing number of English youngsters coming through at different clubs.
Arsenal has always given new chances to young players who prove that they can deliver and Mikel Arteta has continued that trend.
He first trusted Saka to build on his fine start at the club and brought Smith Rowe into the team late last year when his team lacked creativity.
Both players have repaid the faith shown in them by their gaffer and they are now leading other local youngsters across the country.
English talents are usually blocked from showing what they can do by the imports Premier League teams prefer to bring into the country.
Southgate says many youngsters would deliver if teams give them the chance, Smith Rowe and Saka has proven that.
“Eighteen or so months ago, every Saturday we were about 30 per cent of the league, English qualified players,” said Southgate on TalkSPORT.
“This year that’s up to 40 per cent and that doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you think that the likes of perhaps an Emile Smith Rowe getting his opportunity at Arsenal, we know those kids are there, we know the talent is there.
“But of course, when the buying and spending power of the clubs is greater than anything around Europe and the pressure is on to have immediate success, it’s much easier and quicker to go and buy a finished product from abroad, who’s got a handful of a couple of seasons behind them.
“So there was always this blockage for young English players going in. Now, they’re getting their chance and showing [what they can do].
“The boys at Arsenal for example, Saka and Smith Rowe, have been a huge breath of fresh air in their team. There are more across the country if they get the opportunity.”