Bacary Sagna has admitted he was initially sceptical when Arsenal handed the No.10 shirt to Emile Smith Rowe.
The midfielder had just broken into the Arsenal senior team and boldly asked for the number which Mesut Ozil had vacated.
Arsenal could easily have convinced him to choose another number, but Mikel Arteta agreed to hand him the shirt.
Smith Rowe has since proven he can have that number at the back of his jersey.
He has been arguably Arsenal’s most outstanding player in recent weeks and has just earned his first two of hopefully many England caps.
Smith Rowe is making rapid progress, and Sagna admits the midfielder’s rise to prominence has surprised him.
He said as quoted by Sun Sports: “He’s been amazing. He’s been impressing me a lot.
“Initially I wasn’t sure about Arsenal giving him the No10, I thought it was a bit early, but he’s mature for his age and shown he deserves it.
“Sometimes when you have players wearing the No10, they think they’ve made it already and I was worried about him having too much pressure, and how he would deal with it.
“Playing for Arsenal isn’t easy and with his responsibilities now for the national team, it could be a lot.
“But he’s been brilliant for the club, in all aspects of the game, he doesn’t hide on the pitch.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Smith Rowe is just getting started and it is clear to see that Arsenal has a genuine talent on their hands
The midfielder, alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka, gives Arsenal a lot of hope that the future is bright.
If he is already delivering mature and effective performances at 21, we can only imagine how good he would be when he eventually hits the peak of his career.