Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe hoping for senior England chance: ‘I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready for it’

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Emile Smith Rowe was the England Under-21s’ saviour against Andorra  (The FA via Getty Images)
Emile Smith Rowe was the England Under-21s’ saviour against Andorra (The FA via Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is hoping for an opportunity to shine on the senior international stage with England.

The popular Gunners academy graduate is a key player for Lee Carsley’s Under-21s, scoring a second-half winner in Andorra on Monday night to spare the team’s blushes and continue their 10-year undefeated streak in European Championship qualifiers.

However, there are many who feel that Smith Rowe’s influential performances for Arsenal - including his man-of-the-match display in the memorable 3-1 north London derby defeat of Tottenham - should have already earned him a place in the senior England setup.

Gareth Southgate confirmed last month when naming his senior squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary that the 21-year-old was “very close” to being handed a maiden call-up.

And those words were kindly received by Smith Rowe, who is motivated to keep impressing and get that England chance with just over a year to go now before the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar.

"I feel really grateful that he's [Southgate] speaking about me like that in such a positive way," Smith Rowe said, per PA.

"But I've got to keep working hard, keep my head down and I know the opportunity will come. I've just got to make sure I'm ready for it.

"It is always an honour to represent my country whatever level it is. The seniors have a really strong team at the moment so I always know it is going to be difficult.

"I've just got to keep my head down and stay focused and keep doing what I am doing and hopefully I'll get that opportunity in the future."

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