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Emile Smith Rowe told time is on his side

Arsenal v AFC Wimbledon – Carabao Cup – Third Round – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Mikel Arteta has preached patience to Emile Smith Rowe after the Arsenal star was omitted from the latest England squad.

Smith Rowe has yet to earn a senior cap but was tipped for a Three Lions call-up having netted four goals in his last seven games.

However, Gareth Southgate overlooked the Arsenal academy graduate who was instead included in the England Under-21s squad.

Smith Rowe will be looking to add to his impressive recent goal tally when Watford visit the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

A place at the 2022 World Cup is likely to be Smith Rowe’s target but Gunners boss Arteta has told the 21-year-old to maintain his current performances at club-level and not worry about England.

Asked what Smith Rowe needs to do to get a senior England call-up, Arteta replied: “Consistency and again increase his level.

“There are players that have played 300 games in this league and never played for the national team. We want everything to be so quick. Be patient.

“It’s the first year, really, that he’s having these consecutive performances and appearances, at a level where you are really considering that option.

“It doesn’t have to happen straight away. Sometimes that’s not good.”

Arteta also revealed that Smith Rowe has taken the advice of his manager on board: “He does.

“He has shown through his career, in moments when he had to go a step sideways to now be in a position that he is in, to do it.

“He did it in a really convincing way and a humble way. If he continues like that we know that he has the talent, he has the work ethic, he has the personality and the ability to do so. It will come.”

Smith Rowe is battling with a number of in-form fully-fledged internationals to earn a place in Southgate’s thinking,

In contrast, defender Benjamin White has also missed out on a recall despite impressing since his summer move from Brighton.

He was overlooked even though Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings are out of form and John Stones has struggled for minutes at Manchester City.

“The squad that the England national team is able to put together today is incredible,” said Arteta when asked about White missing out.

“They are showing in every tournament the level that they have.

“Ben, no question, has the ability, the quality and now the performances to be there. In the end, Gareth has to make the decision and Ben has to continue exactly where he is.

“If you look at his progression in the last two seasons, what he’s done, he is in the right direction.”

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