Arsenal told they have their own Kevin De Bruyne after Brighton win

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Arsenal fans were left in awe of Emile Smith-Rowe after the youngster’s starring role against Brighton on Tuesday night.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta named a largely unchanged side from their Boxing Day thrashing of Chelsea, with Smith-Rowe playing in a central attacking midfield role.

He thrived in the number ten position and was causing constant problems for the Brighton defence.

The youngster, who came through the academy at Arsenal, was tasked with unpicking the Brighton side and played numerous through balls to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.

Smith-Rowe's performance was praised by Arsenal fans afterwards, with Reiss Nelson comparing him to Kevin de Bruyne.

The wonderkid took to Instagram to post: “Big 3 points tonight #coyg” – with Nelson simply commenting: “@KevindeBruyne” in reply.

Speaking afterwards, Smith-Rowe discussed his own performance and vowed to repay the faith Arteta has placed in him.

The Brighton game was his second start in a row, and the 20-year-old is hoping for more to come.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said of his recent game time.

“It’s a dream for me to play for this club.

“I’m so happy and grateful that the manager’s shown faith in me and given me the chance.

“I’ve just got to keep training hard, and then when I get the opportunity I’ve got to take it.

“Mikel told us the game would open up in the second half so we just tried to keep the belief, the confidence and you could see we started to create more chances.

“Laca got the goal that helped us.”

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