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Emile Smith Rowe should be HAPPY that fans are questioning Southgate over England snub, says Arteta

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Emile Smith Rowe ‘should be HAPPY’ that people are ‘questioning’ Gareth Southgate over his England snub because ‘it tells you the level he is playing at’, insists Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

  • Emile Smith Rowe was snubbed by England for November’s World Cup qualifiers
  • The Arsenal star has been in fine form this season with three goals in five games
  • Mikel Arteta says fans questioning Gareth Southgate for the call is good news
  • The Gunners boss believes Smith Rowe’s international bow will come eventually 


Mikel Arteta is happy that fans are questioning Gareth Southgate for leaving Emile Smith Rowe out of the England squad as it shows the high level the Arsenal youngster is playing at. 

Smith Rowe was a surprise omission from the Three Lions squad that will play Albania and San Marino in World Cup qualifiers this month, despite the 21-year-old midfielder scoring against Aston Villa and Leicester since the last international break.

The Gunners prodigy will now have to wait for an England call-up but Arteta believes Smith Rowe should still be proud of his performances and says his senior international bow ‘will come’.  

Mikel Arteta (right) says Emile Smith Rowe (left) should be proud despite not getting an England call-up this month

Mikel Arteta (right) says Emile Smith Rowe (left) should be proud despite not getting an England call-up this month

England boss Gareth Southgate did not give Smith Rowe his first England call-up this week

England boss Gareth Southgate did not give Smith Rowe his first England call-up this week

‘I think he should be happy,’ Arteta told a press conference before Arsenal’s Premier League match with Watford. ‘If people are gutted or questioning any decision, it tells you the level he is playing at. 

‘Like anything in his career, it will come. It’s about the right moment, we don’t know if it is the right moment right now. 

‘Gareth has to judge when the right moment is, I’m sure it was a thoughtful process and the right decisions were made.’ 

Smith Rowe has scored in Premier League matches against Tottenham and Villa, before making it back-to-back games with goals by scoring Arsenal’s second goal in a 2-0 win at Leicester last week. 

Smith Rowe has been in fine form for the Gunners, with three goals for Arteta's side this season

Smith Rowe has been in fine form for the Gunners, with three goals for Arteta’s side this season

The 21-year-old is currently in the England Under-21s set-up and scored his maiden goal at that level against Andorra earlier this season. 

Smith Rowe has started all but one of Arsenal’s Premier League matches so far and has also played twice in the Carabao Cup this term – though Arteta refused to see positives in the midfielder getting a rest from high-intensity games over the international break.

When asked if Smith Rowe getting snubbed was a positive for him, the Gunners boss added: ‘I don’t know, our objective is to prepare the players to have the biggest ambitions and that is why they are performing the way they are. 

‘It will come, they have to respect those decisions and no disappointment because of that.’

Smith Rowe is currently a star in England's Under-21s team, scoring his first goal last month

Smith Rowe is currently a star in England’s Under-21s team, scoring his first goal last month

Arteta believes that Smith Rowe's first England call-up 'will come' eventually in the future

Arteta believes that Smith Rowe’s first England call-up ‘will come’ eventually in the future

England boss Southgate, who called up Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale once again for his international qualifiers, gave his reasons for not selecting Smith Rowe in a press conference on Thursday.  

The Three Lions manager said: ‘Emile, Connor Gallagher, Marc Guehi are playing well but we’ve got depth but we have to leave them out of the (team) sheet.

‘It’s not a bad thing that we have a strong U21 team. We fast-track (young) players quickly and a lot of them are in this squad now.

‘They are on a good path but we think it is a little bit early. We could put them in and they would be fine. But we have other options in the squad.’

As well as Smith Rowe and Crystal Palace duo Gallagher and Guehi, Southgate tipped Southampton full-back Tino Livramento and Norwich’s Max Aarons for future call-ups, along with Chelsea’s capped star Callum Hudson-Odoi.  

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