Although it has come at the expense of one of his potential team-mates pulling out of England’s next two fixtures, Emile Smith Rowe will surely take his maiden international call-up however it’s come about.
The Arsenal star has been in sensational form for the Gunners this season, and it was only going to be a matter of time before Gareth Southgate gave him his Three Lions bow.
It was a strange decision to leave him out in the first place, however, the withdrawals of Marcus Rashford, James Ward-Prowse, Mason Mount and Luke Shaw for the games against Albania and San Marino have left Southgate with little choice.
“Emile Smith Rowe has received his first call-up to the England senior men’s squad,” a statement from The Football Association read.
“The Arsenal forward arrived at St. George’s Park on Monday having initially been scheduled to join the U21s in Burnley.”
After originally being left out, Mikel Arteta put a positive spin on Smith Rowe’s omission by suggesting that the fact it was being questioned was something he could take confidence from, per Sky Sports.
If he is handed the opportunity in either of the two qualifiers and can grab it with both hands, the pressure then falls on others to oust him from the international set-up.
Given that he’s appeared destined for international honours for a while now, that won’t be an easy task.