How Emile Smith Rowe forced Gareth Southgate into major England decision over the Arsenal star


Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe has received his debut call-up to the England senior squad.

The 21-year-old has been in fine form for the Gunners in recent weeks, helping the side climb up to fifth place in the Premier League table with his return in front of goal.

Smith Rowe scored his first goal of the league season in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa last month and then followed that up with strikes against Leicester City and most recently Watford.

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted last week that Smith Rowe was close to being selected in his initial squad, but just missed the cut. However, the Arsenal star has now replaced Mason Mount, who requires dental surgery.

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The form of the Gunners star has made him virtually impossible to ignore for Southgate. Ever since he broke into Arsenal’s Premier League side for their clash with Chelsea on Boxing Day last year, Smith Rowe has been an ever-present figure under Mikel Arteta.

On that day at the Emirates Stadium, an Arsenal star was born. Smith Rowe performed superbly and staked a real claim to be named in Arteta’s team for the trip down to Brighton a few days later – and that he was.

From there, it’s been nothing short of a meteoric rise for Smith Rowe, who was handed the famous No.10 shirt after signing a new long-term contract in north London over the summer.

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Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates after he scores a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford
Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates after he scores a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford

Despite Smith Rowe being a standout performer in the second half of last season for the Gunners, one criticism that was aimed at him was that he did not score enough goals. He found the back of the net just twice in the Premier League between Boxing Day and the end of the campaign.

This time around, though, Smith Rowe has already scored more goals in the top-flight than he managed throughout the whole of last season – with the Arsenal star bagging in each of his last three matches.

His most recent goal came in the 1-0 win against Watford on Sunday afternoon and just over 24 hours later, England announced that he would be joining up with the squad for their World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Albania.

Whether or not he makes his senior debut for his country in those two games remains to be seen, with Southgate having an abundance of talent in Smith Rowe’s position – but one thing is for sure, this acknowledgement is very well deserved.

Smith Rowe could not have done any more to cement a place in the squad and his persistence, hard work and determination has made him impossible for Southgate to ignore.

Source by Football London

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