Mikel Arteta thinks Emile Smith Rowe has a great chance to break into the England squad, following Bukayo Saka’s recent example.

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LONDON, ENGLAND: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates with teammates (L-R) Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares after scoring the side’s first goal on January 09, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe recently made some headlines after England boss Gareth Southgate suggested they’d been a “huge breath of fresh air” with Arsenal.

Southgate didn’t go as far as to suggest either were in line for a call-up later this month, but you’d expect Saka to be involved as he was over the last break.

As for Smith Rowe, he’s yet to break into the England u21s, largely due to some unfortunately-timed injuries. Journalists asked Mikel Arteta whether he thinks the 20-year-old still has a chance to make the first team ahead of the Euros this summer.

“I think it is possible if he shows the same determination as Bukayo, be as humble as he is and play with the personality that he’s done. I think he’s got a great chance,” Arteta said.

“Emile has got all the attributes, all the qualities that’s needed to play for this football club and, in my opinion, to play for the national team.

“After it is about finding the consistent level that is required because, obviously, that level is as good as it gets. But I think he has shown in moments of this season what he can do.

“So it is about now doing it for longer periods, adding more assists, more goals, being a threat all the time, and working as hard as he has been doing because I think he has been phenomenal for us.”

For now, Smith Rowe just has to focus on coming back from his latest injury setback. He had to come off in the first half against Leicester City at the weekend and we don’t have a return date yet, but scans on the problem have ruled out anything too significant.

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