Neville was Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate at Manchester United before the Portuguese star moved to Real Madrid in 2009.
Ronaldo had a tough start at Manchester United, but did not look back once he got his big break under then manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Smith Rowe, meanwhile, has done well for Arsenal this season. The 21-year-old has already matched last campaign's tally of two goals in just nine appearances in the Premier League.
Smith Rowe has been at the heart of Arsenal’s recent attacking endeavors, and Neville believes the England Under-21 international is more clinical than a 21-year old Cristiano Ronaldo was.
“Everything that Smith Rowe [wants to be], he’s a beautiful footballer Smith Rowe, and he’s got a long way to go in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t as clinical and ruthless at that age," Neville said.
“But that’s where he has got to get to. To the point where by every single game, they want to be the best. They want to score the winner. They believe they are going to score the winner. Confidence is unbelievable,” he added.
Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe has a long way to go before he can be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo
Arsenal gave Emile Smith Rowe the chance to impress last season, and he has done well under Mikel Arteta.
Smith Rowe undoubtedly has a long way to go before he can be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is progressing well.
The fact that he is central to Arsenal’s attack means fans have got to see what his strengths are as a player. Arsenal’s style of play also suits the talented midfielder, whose vision and composure belie his age.
The position Smith Rowe plays in perhaps demands him to be more clinical, though, as Arsenal cannot afford too many turnovers.
Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, was perhaps a tad more selfish during his early years at Manchester United. This was understandable as he played slightly higher up the pitch and always wanted to score goals.
Smith Rowe has helped Arsenal overcome a difficult start to the season, and the Gunners will hope the talented midfielder can improve further.