Emile Smith Rowe received his first senior call-up for the England team over the November international break, an “emotional” moment for him.
Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe wasn’t initially called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, instead being named in the England u21s as he had been in October. However, following a couple of squad withdrawals, he got his late senior call.
Speaking to the media this week, Smith Rowe recalled what he did next.
“It was a great moment for me and my family – I ran downstairs straight away and told my mum. It was very emotional. They were so proud of me,” Smith Rowe said.
“Obviously I play against these guys every week but for England it’s always different. Wearing the same training kit and passing the ball to each other – it’s crazy to be alongside these great players.”
England play their first game of the international break against Albania later today, and it’s not impossible Smith Rowe gets some minutes.
England boss Gareth Southgate has suggested Smith Rowe isn’t just in the squad to make up the numbers, and they’re planning to use him.
“We have brought him here with a view to being involved in the two matches,” Southgate said. “He has settled really well. Knows a couple of club mates and Phil from Under-17s as well. His quality has been apparent in training. He is ready.”
After leaving Smith Rowe out in the first place, Southgate had justified the decision by suggestion they wanted to get the timing right with his call-up.
But the England boss did go on to add that “we can put them (Smith Rowe, Gallagher, or Guehi) in and they would be absolutely fine”. In the end, that’s what they’ve done with the Arsenal youngster.