Mikel Arteta unlocks Arsenal’s own Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney by rivalling Man Utd record


Mikel Arteta has cultivated the evolution of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe at Arsenal as the Hale End duo are now rivalling a record set by Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

Saka and Smith Rowe have now assisted one another five times in the Premier League becoming the second most fruit-bearing partnership aged 21-years-old or younger to do so in the competition’s history, following a rampant north London derby triumph on Sunday.

The Arsenal boss has put his faith in the pair over the past 12 months to join such an elite bracket, sitting behind just Ronaldo and Rooney who have assisted each other eight separate times.

Saka teed Smith Rowe up to slot home the Gunners’ opening goal following a gushing counter-attack, in what became his fifth assist for his fellow Hale End graduate.



Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Wayne Rooney during their time together at Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Wayne Rooney during their time together at Manchester United.

Arsenal’s number ten continued in the same vein and returned the favour by providing the assist to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who doubled his side’s lead.

The Gunners smelled blood and continued their pursuit of more goals before Saka chipped in to extend Arsenal’s lead with a driven effort out of Hugo Lloris’ reach.



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Saka and Smith Rowe flaunted their artistry as they graced the hallowed Emirates turf under the watchful eye of Thierry Henry, smiling from the stands like a proud parent as the Hale End duo revelled a monumental north London victory.

The pair’s maiden combination at senior level came against Chelsea in the Gunners’ famous 3-1 win over Frank Lampard’s side at the Emirates, breeding a unique fearlessness that foreshadowed Arsenal’s third successive win over Spurs.

Arteta’s young guns went on to combine twice against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle before sealing their title among Premier League royalty.

With Smith Rowe yet to turn 22-years-old until July and Saka yet to turn 22, alike, until September 2023, the pair can go down in folklore and eye overtaking Ronaldo and Rooney’s record.

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