Gareth Southgate backs down over Emile Smith Rowe as three changes made to England squad

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Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has been handed his first England call-up, despite Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate insisting last week that it might be too early for the 21-year-old to jump up to the senior squad. Smith Rowe has been in excellent form for the Gunners this season and has been rewarded for his fine form after a couple of England stars dropped out of Southgate’s squad ahead of the November fixtures. 

The England head coach named a 25-man squad last week for upcoming games against Albania and San Marino. That list did not initially include Smith Rowe and his inclusion has come about due to James Ward-Prowse and Marcus Rashford pulling out. 

Asked about why Smith Rowe and in-form Crystal Palace pair Conor Gallagher and Marc Geuhi had not received maiden call-ups, Southgate explained: “Emile, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi, in particular, are all playing very well with their clubs, but we’ve got depth. 

“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.”


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