Martin Keown says ‘outstanding’ Arsenal star has been ‘unfortunate’
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Martin Keown says 'outstanding' Arsenal star has been 'unfortunate'

Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes that Emile Smith Rowe is “unfortunate” not to have made the England senior squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The 20-year-old has made a sensational breakthrough this season, becoming the latest Hale End star to become a first-team regular under Mikel Arteta.

He has made 13 Premier League appearances this season, registering four assists, and has scored in the FA Cup and Europa League.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Crucially, Smith Rowe has given Arsenal something that was seriously lacking in the first half of the season – creativity in midfield.

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The Hale End graduate’s reward is a spot in the England Under-21s squad for the group stages of the Euro Under-21 championships, alongside Eddie Nketiah.

However, Keown believes Smith Rowe had a real case to make it into Gareth Southgate’s squad.

“It’s interesting that the England squad was named today and Lingard made it into the national team,” Keown told BT Sport last night, as transcribed by football.london.

“He’s done exceptionally well as well, but I think Smith Rowe is unlucky not to be in there.

“Lingard has only played six games since his loan period, they’ve all been good games, but the influence he’s had on the Arsenal team – him and Saka – has been absolutely outstanding.

“I see him as unfortunate not to make the full squad.”

England’s U21s will play three matches in the UEFA Euro Under-21 group stage, facing Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia in Group D, all taking place in Slovenia.

The group stages begin for the Young Lions on Thursday, March 25 against Switzerland.

They will then play Portugal on Sunday, March 28 before wrapping up the international break against Croatia on Wednesday, March 31st.

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