Smith Rowe reveals Chelsea rejection was ‘difficult to take’ as Arsenal star celebrates ‘dream’ England call
Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe admits he was over the moon to receive his first England call-up, while revealing that, had things turned out differently, he might now be lining up for one of the Gunners’ London rivals.
Smith Rowe, 21, was included by England boss Gareth Southgate due to injuries to Marcus Rashford and James Ward-Prowse.
Having initially expected to line up for the Under-21s, he is now determined to make the most of his opportunity in the senior side.
What was said?
“It is a dream come true, I definitely didn’t expect it,” Smith Rowe told reporters on Tuesday.
“I was going into the U21s and I got a phone call the day before from Gareth to say I am in the first team.
“It was a great moment for me and my family. My mum was downstairs when he called and I was upstairs. I ran downstairs and told her straight away, it was very emotional. They were so proud of me and I couldn’t wait to meet up with the squad.
“Everything has happened so quickly but I try to keep my head down. It is surreal to be here and I want to learn as much as I can.”
No luck at the Bridge
He may now be one of Arsenal and England’s top young talents, but as a kid Smith Rowe suffered the disappointment of being overlooked by Chelsea.
“Yes, before I went to Arsenal, I went on trial at Chelsea through one of my team mates at my local team,” he added.
“He was on trial there already and he put in a word for me. I don’t know how he managed it but I got a trial at Chelsea but I didn’t get it.
“It was difficult to take at the time, being so young, but I went straight into Arsenal after that and luckily I got in and I haven’t looked back since.”
Smith Rowe has been in fine form for Arsenal this season, netting four times in 11 Premier League games as the Gunners have recovered from a disastrous start to climb within two points of Champions League qualification going into this international window.