Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Magalhaes have received late senior international call-ups after other players withdrew from the squads.
Despite being two of Arsenal’s most in-form players this season, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Magalhaes were initially left out of the countries’ senior international sides for the November break.
Smith Rowe was left in the England u21s, with Gareth Southgate praising his form but insisting they didn’t want to call him up too soon, whilst Gabriel simply didn’t make the Brazil squad behind the likes of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Eder Militao.
After Southgate’s comments, Smith Rowe went and scored again at the weekend, and a few England players had to pull out of the squad.
Marcus Rashford is focusing on his fitness, James Ward-Prowse is ill, and Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are both set to arrive late – if at all – due to dental surgery and concussion protocol respectively. The upshot was that Smith Rowe was called up after all.
The same day, Gabriel made the Brazil squad following the confirmation of an injury to Lucas Verissimo.
Gabriel may be waiting on an international retirement or two before he becomes a starter for Brazil, but his form for Arsenal has more than merited an international call-up. He consistently puts in strong performances for Mikel Arteta, week after week.
There won’t be any problem with travel restrictions for Gabriel, but obviously there’s always a risk of illness or injury when players go out on international duty. Even so, it’s hard to begrudge him and Smith Rowe of a moment they’ve earned out on the pitch.