HE may have one of the hottest names in English football right now – but that has not stopped many from spelling Emile Smith Rowe wrong.
The unusual lack of hyphen in his double-barrelled surname has caught out many journalists, let alone fans waxing lyrical about the wonderkid on social media.
The unfazed Arsenal star, 20, tells SunSport: “I’m not too bothered by it, to be honest. I actually kind of like it, even though my mum is fuming! She doesn’t like it when people put it in.
“I haven’t really asked why there is no hyphen. She’s just said it’s not meant to be there. I’m not too sure. It is what it is. I don’t mind!”
Asked if the difficulties his headteacher mum Fiona has had organising home-schooling throughout the pandemic gives him perspective, Smith Rowe replied: “Definitely.
“I know how much hard work it is. My mum and dad have always taught me to stay grounded and humble.
“All the kids at her school know that I play for Arsenal. When everything is finally over, it’ll be great to go and see them. It’s always something I wanted to do.”
The 20-year-old is also loving the healthy competition with close pal Bukayo Saka – and feels it’s pushing the pair to new heights for club and country.
If it seems as though Arsenal’s whizkid pair have been playing together for years, it is because they have.
Inseparable Saka and Smith Rowe first combined regularly in Arsenal’s Under-16 side, with the former playing two years above his age group due to his talent and physical strength.
Smith Rowe explained: “We push each other every day. We’re so close off the pitch.
“I feel like we know each other so well that in games it’s not that difficult for us to link up.
“We’re so competitive, even in the little things like table tennis and in the gym. We’re always laughing in the changing room.
“We know each other inside out. I feel it’s really showing on the pitch and we just want to carry on.”
Meanwhile, Smith Rowe singled out one particular senior pro in the Gunners’ dressing room for helping him shine.
He said: “Alexandre Lacazette has helped me so much since I’ve come into the side.
“Laca gives so much of us young players confidence. He tells us how good we are.
“He’s such a good character in the dressing room. He’s basically one of the young players.”