Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale made Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday, with Southgate explaining why Emile Smith Rowe missed out.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates scoring the third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates scoring the third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

England confirmed Gareth Southgate’s squad for the November international break on Thursday, with Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka earning call-ups once again. However, Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe were somewhat surprising omissions.

With Arsenal performing so well at the back thanks to the combined efforts of White, Ramsdale, and Gabriel, and Smith Rowe in excellent form going forwards, they could both do a job for Southgate.

The England manager has been clear in the past about wanting to select players who are starting regularly and in good form. That’s surely more the case for someone like White than John Stones, Tyrone Mings, or Harry Maguire, but those three made it in anyway.

We don’t have an explanation from Southgate for White’s exclusion, but he did give his thoughts on Smith Rowe.

“Emile, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi, in particular, are all playing very well with their clubs, but we’ve got depth,” Southgate said.

“To put those in we’ve got to leave some of these on the sheet out and I think it’s not a bad thing that we’re starting to get a very strong Under-21 team because you want that depth.

“We fast track lots of young players very quickly and the majority of them are still in this squad now and a lot of them played a big part in the Euros.

“But also we’ve had some that have come up and then when you put them back with the Under-21s that’s a lot more complicated so we want to get the timing of that right.

“I think the boys I’ve just mentioned there are on a really good path, we like them, we’ll get a good chance to see them with the Under-21s as well as with their club, but at the moment we think it’s a little bit early for some of those guys in.

“We can put them in and they would be absolutely fine, by the way. But we think the players we’ve picked are just a little bit ahead at the moment.”

As Southgate alluded to, Smith Rowe has since been called up by the England u21s for the international break. He scored the winner for the side in their last game in October, so hopefully he can have another positive impact and keep knocking on the first-team door.

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