Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe in major 2022 World Cup squad boost as he's told England U21s call not a 'demotion’

LEE CARSLEY says Emile Smith Rowe should not see his inclusion back in the England U21 squad as a “demotion”.

And the Young Lions chief fully expects Arsenal star Smith Rowe to be on top of his game, despite having been in the senior set-up last time out.

Smith Rowe came off the bench in England’s 3-0 win over Ivory Coast in March, and now has three senior caps and a goal to his name.

But Gareth Southgate overlooked him for his latest squad, leaving Carsley to select him for the four Euro qualifiers the U21s play in June.

There have been previous examples of players not responding well to being asked to turn out for the U21s again having already represented the seniors.

The most recent case was that of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who asked to be left out of Carsley’s squads last year and who now could be set to switch to Ghana.


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Yet Carsley said: “We don’t want them to see it as a demotion. Ultimately your club form takes care of that. 

“Our job is to maybe let them kick-start themselves again or maybe come into form and score some goals.

“It’s such a high standard in the seniors that it’s almost a conveyor belt where you need to perform weekly in, week out. 

“The way Gareth communicates to the players when they go up always leaves that opportunity to come back across and play with us.”

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As a whole, Smith Rowe had an excellent breakthrough campaign at Arsenal, scoring 11 goals. 

But he often found himself on the bench as Mikel Arteta favoured Gabriel Martinelli in the final few months of the season, and that may have cost him his senior spot.

Yet Carsley has been impressed with the 21-year-old’s attitude at being back with the Young Lions, who take on Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia over the next fortnight.

The 48-year-old said: “He was very positive about coming to the 21s. 

“His last experience with us was the goal (which he scored in October’s 1-0 win in Andorra) and playing a big part of that for us. 

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“Going back to Arsenal and being in such great form, I’m expecting the best version of Emile to turn up.

“Our job is to get him back into the seniors and it’s always easier and smoother to get into the seniors if you’re with the 21s and not sat in the house.”

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