Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate give truthful assessments on Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe
Southgate claims pundits make criticisms to 'stay relevant'
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Emile Smith Rowe was hailed by England boss Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane after the Arsenal star netted on his international debut in the 10-0 win over San Marino.
The Three Lions punched their ticket to next summer’s World Cup in Qatar in style by thrashing San Marino, with Smith Rowe netting England’s seventh goal shortly after the break.
Kane helped himself to four goals against the minnows, whilst Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka also got in on the act. San Marino defender Filippo Fabbri also netted an unfortunate own goal.
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Smith Rowe earned a late call-up to the squad from Southgate after his dazzling form for Arsenal in the Premier League this season.
The 21-year-old has registered four goals and two assists for the Gunners in the 11 league games he’s played.
And he certainly looked at home on the international stage; taking his goal like a seasoned veteran and linking up neatly with his domestic team-mate, Saka.
His display earned him high praise from Southgate after the match.
“I thought Emile all week with us has really given a good amount from us, his tight control was excellent, he was inventive with his play. He’s got to continue what he’s doing,” said the England boss.
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And Three Lions skipper Kane echoed Southgate’s sentiments when he also talked up the Hale End graduate.
“He’s had a fantastic season so far, great from him to play and get the goal today, he’s got the quality, the quality is there for sure,” Kane said.
“He just needs to keep working hard, keep his head down and I’m sure he’s got a great future.”
Alongside Saka and Aaron Ramsdale, who also made his first England start on Monday night, Smith Rowe is part of a trio of young Arsenal stars who look set to establish themselves in Southgate’s senior ranks in the build-up to next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
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England are almost spoilt for choice right now when it comes to attacking options, with a host of Premier League stars all vying for a spot on the plane next November.
With so much talent, there’s bound to be some disappointed players this time next year.
But it’s fast-looking as though Smith Rowe won’t be one of them.
He headed into the clash at the San Marino Stadium with more goals and assists in the league than any other player in the England squad – and managed to replicate the form he’s shown in north London this term on the international stage.
If he can carry on doing what he has been doing for Arsenal, then it already looks like he’ll be one of the first names on the plane heading for Qatar in 2022.
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