Gareth Southgate sheds light on Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe’s chances of playing against Albania

Gareth Southgate sheds light on Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe’s chances of playing against Albania

Smith Rowe a late call up

Although Gareth Southgate’s decision to seemingly overlook Emile Smith Rowe when initially announcing his squad was met with some bemusement on social media, the Arsenal starlet has since been called up due to injuries.

Marcus Rashford and James Ward-Prowse were both sidelined for the upcoming games against San Marino and Albania, with England needing four points from a possible six in order to guarantee themselves a ticket to Qatar next November for the World Cup.

But will he play?

Southgate speaks out on latest squad addition

Now, as a whole host of Arsenal fans wait with bated breath to see if Emile Smith Rowe will be handed an England debut, Southgate has fuelled the flames of hope in his pre-match press conference. With Mason Mount unlikely to feature, there is additional scope for Smith Rowe to play, and Southgate suggested he’d do just that, saying:

“We have brought him to be involved with the team in the two matches. He has settled really well. He obviously knows a couple of his club teammates and Phil [Foden] from the U17s. This is a group that makes new players very welcome so it’s not a difficult environment to settle in and his quality has been apparent from the way he has trained. He is ready

“We have always worked on the basis that we need a strong squad because you will get injuries. We have depth and we have players who have been waiting for opportunities to play.”

It remains to be seen whether Smith Rowe will make his full debut for the Three Lions, but he has certainly got the potential to get a taste of the action from the bench. Should he do so, it would cap a whirlwind 12 months for the Arsenal starlet, who only broke into Mikel Arteta’s side on boxing day of 2020, and now is set to represent England in the World Cup qualifiers.

[Quotes via the BBC Sport website]

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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