‘Impressed’ – Southgate delivers promising verdict on Arsenal pair

Date published: Thursday 4th November 2021 4:09 - James Holland

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal

Gareth Southgate has suggested that two Arsenal stars could force their way into England’s starting eleven in the near future.

The 51-year-old has named his 25-man squad for England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The Three Lions host Albania on Friday November 12 before travelling to San Marino three days later.

England will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run in Group I. They have picked up six wins from eight matches so far.

Southgate’s latest squad includes Arsenal stars Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka. Man Utd duo Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard have missed out due to a lack of game time.

Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham will return to compete for a starting place in midfield. The 18-year-old has registered two assists and a goal in his last three Bundesliga outings.

When asked about his selection, Southgate name-checked Ramsdale and Gunners playmaker Emile Smith Rowe.

Ramsdale pulled off a sublime save in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester on Saturday. Smith Rowe also scored to make it two goals in as many games.

On Ramsdale, Southgate said: “This is the third squad he has been in, we were impressed in the summer.

“He has started well at Arsenal, still a small sample of games [but] distribution with his feet is a bonus with the way they play at Arsenal. There is a fight on [to be number one].”

On Smith Rowe’s omission, the former defender added: “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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Southgate explains why Kieran Trippier missed out

Southgate named Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Reece James as his right-backs. That means Atletico man Trippier will not add to his 35 caps this month.

“We have fantastic competition for places [there],” Southgate said. “Kyle was in the team of the tournament for the Euros. Kieran Trippier we haven’t picked this time to give an opportunity to Trent and Reece.

“Kieran has always been a good performer for us and played a huge role in us reaching a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and a European Championship final this year.

“He is a player we have a lot of respect for and I’m sure he will be back with us in the future.

“Reece and Trent are at a really good level. Tino Livramento has had a great start to the season, along with Tariq Lamptey and we have just seen Matty Cash go to Poland, but we have a lot of good right-backs in the squad and others pushing them.”

READ MORE: ‘We will see’ – major Alexander Isak hint gives Arsenal big transfer hope

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