Gareth Southgate reveals the one reason that Arsenal starlet didn’t make the England squad

Gareth Southgate reveals the one reason that Arsenal starlet didn’t make the England squad

England squad announced

Gareth Southgate today announced his England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, and a few surprises were thrown.

AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori was included, but there was no place for new Arsenal signing Ben White, while teenage sensation Jude Bellingham was also conspicuously absent despite his brilliant start to the season with Borussia Dortmund.

Injuries ruled out Dominic Calvert Lewin, Harry Maguire, Patrick Bamford and Trent Alexander Arnold, showing just how much strength in depth Gareth Southgate has at his disposal ahead of the next World Cup in just over 12 months time.

Emile Smith Rowe “very close” to the squad

One call up that would likely have come as a surprise to many had it happened was the inclusion of Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe.

However, following a string of good performances (including in Arsenal defeats to Brentford and Chelsea), Southgate revealed that the 21 year old was “very close” to making his squad, saying:

“He is a player we like a lot and was very close to making this squad.”

Southgate went on to reveal that the reason he was not selected was due to his minimal time spent with the U21’s to date, where he has only made 2 appearances:

“At this moment in time I don’t want to bring in any more younger players out of the Under-21s. They have got to earn that right over a longer period.”

However, he did say that Smith Rowe was “a player we really like”, suggesting that he could find himself with a call up in the near future.

Arsenal fans, should he be in this England squad?

Read more:

Fikayo Tomori and two Arsenal stars handed England call up amid defensive issues

William Saliba backed to “come good” at Arsenal by top fitness coach