Edu and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal vision working after Gareth Southgate’s key England decision


Three of Arsenal’s young stars started for Gareth Southgate’s England side as the Three Lions ran away 10-0 winners against San Marino.

Arsenal’s Hale End graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were called up to England together for the first time in their senior careers.

After impressing at Euro 2020, Saka is now a regular in Southgate’s squad. Meanwhile, Smith Rowe has forced his way into the England manager’s thinking after an electric run of form in an Arsenal shirt.

The 21-year-old took his chance for the Three Lions too as he came off the bench to collect his first cap on Friday as England beat Albania 5-0 at Wembley, before scoring his first international goal at senior level in the win over San Marino on Monday night.

Arsenal’s two academy graduates weren’t the only Gunners on England duty, however.

Aaron Ramsdale – who has been thoroughly impressive since arriving at the Emirates Stadium from Sheffield United in the summer – also made the squad.

Although he’s been away on several international camps lately, he was finally handed his first senior cap against San Marino and kept a clean sheet on debut.

It’s been a while since Arsenal had a number of players competing for an England shirt, which if anything, suggests that Mikel Arteta’s plan at the Emirates Stadium is working.

Edu and Arteta have entrusted a vision to rebuild the Gunners with a talented young core at the helm, three of whom were involved with England on Monday.

Southgate has also refused to rule out the possibility of Smith Rowe being in with a shot for Qatar 2022.



Emile Smith Rowe of England runs with the ball during the game away to San Marino. (Photo by Chris Ricco – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

“I thought that Emile all week gave us a really good account of himself,” he toldITV Sport.

“We saw his quality, his tight control is excellent, he’s inventive in his play so he has got to continue what he’s doing. We finished with a very young side and a lot of promise for the future.”

Plus, as Saka has previously admitted, there are still players at Arsenal – Benjamin White in particular – capable of returning to the England squad.

Following news that Smith Rowe had been included in Southgate’s squad, Saka had an enjoyable conversation with one of England’s cameramen.

The short discussion ended with a slight joke from the cameraman who asked whether there will be an ‘Arsenal takeover’ in the England camp.

“Arsenal takeover [at England]?”

“Yeah, slowly,” Saka replied.

Arteta’s Arsenal rebuild still has a while to go, but with exceptional young players like Saka, Smith Rowe and Ramsdale at the heart of what the Gunners are trying to achieve, the vision is certainly starting to take place – and luckily, international management is recognising that fact as well.





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