Joe Cole picks out three players that can give Arsenal fans some optimism

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have been standouts for Arsenal this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal picked up a much-needed win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and Joe Cole believes Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney once again proved why they will be huge parts of any success the Gunners can achieve in the coming years.

Smith Rowe opened the scoring at the Emirates, with Nicolas Pepe and Willian scoring the other goals in a 3-1 win which confirmed relegation for the Baggies.

Mikel Arteta’s side is still fighting for a European place next season although sat ninth in the table with just three games to play, the odds are not in their favour.

Whatever happens in the remaining three matches it will have been a very disappointing season for the Gunners, but former Chelsea star Cole believes there are things to be optimistic about.

Young stars Smith Rowe and Saka have been excellent this season, while Tierney showed why he is a fan favourite on Sunday as he made a swift return from a knee injury when it had been thought he could miss the rest of the season, coming on as a substitute in the second half.

‘Obviously Smith Rowe and Saka,’ Cole told BT Sport on reasons to be cheerful for Arsenal fans. ‘And Tierney came out here after he’s played 30 minutes and he’s practising his crossing.

‘We talked about characters that Arsenal need, a lot of Arsenal fans have been calling for him to be captain of this club. To do that, when you’re coming back from injury, shows to me he’s got his finger on the pulse, he’s got desire to take the club forward. That’s a positive.

‘Smith Rowe, fantastic young player. Saka, great player.’

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Kieran Tierney has swiftly returned from his latest injury (Picture: Getty Images)

Pepe also earned some praise from the former England star, but only after some pretty heavy criticism for his performance prior to a 35th minute goal.

‘Before his goal he was appalling and he looked lost,’ said Cole of the winger. ‘The game was going to pass him by.

‘But this [the goal] was absolutely sensational quality. He’s come in on his left foot and he gets the meat of his foot behind it and whips it. It goes with such venom. It hits the net clean. Fantastic finish.’

The Gunners’ remaining games see them travel across London to Chelsea and Crystal Palace before hosting Brighton on the final match of the season.

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