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Gareth Southgate explains why Emile Smith Rowe didn't make England squad

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Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale have been called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate, but Emile Smith Rowe has missed out despite his phenomenal performances this season.

Saka and Ramsdale getting the nod was expected. Both players wear part of Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad and after how well they’ve done over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to anyone that they made the team.

However, Arsenal fans are not too pleased about Smith Rowe’s omission. The 21-year-old has been superb over the last few weeks and he was phenomenal against Tottenham in the derby as well.

Southgate, predictably, was quizzed about his decision to leave Smith Rowe out of the side. Here’s what the England boss said in his press conference today.

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Gareth Southgate: We like Emile Smith Rowe a lot

Southgate said about Smith Rowe, as per The Athletic: “He is a player we like a lot and was very close to making this squad.

“At this moment in time, I don’t want to bring in any more younger players out of the Under-21s. They have got to earn that right over a longer period.

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“I thought his performance against Tottenham was very good, we know how he finished last season as well. I can only say he is a player we really like and he was close.”

Smith Rowe has every right to be disappointed, but it’s not the end of the road for him. He is still only 21 and is already one of Arsenal’s best players. Southgate has claimed he likes him as well, which is good news.

The Arsenal man just needs to put his head down and continue working. If he can play every game as well as he did against Tottenham, Southgate will have no choice but to give him a call when England face Albania and San Marino in November.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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