Press conference

Arteta - Smith Rowe's England call-up will come

There was surprise on Thursday when Emile Smith Rowe and Ben White weren't included in the latest England squad.

The former has scored four goals and claimed two assists in his last seven games, while the latter has been in fine form at the heart of our defence.

So what was Mikel Arteta's reaction to the news?

"Gareth has to make so many difficult decisions, he has so many choices," our manager said. "What I like is that our players are performing at a level that I am sure they are giving problems in selection to Gareth and the coaching staff.

"That is what pleases me because I know they have the level to do it and it will be about the timing when the manager decides it is the right moment to select them.

"I think Emile should be happy if people are gutted [about him not being selected] or people are questioning any decision, because that tells you the level that he’s playing at. Like anything that has happened in Emile’s career, it will come when it’s the right moment, because we don’t know if now is the right moment.

"Gareth knows much better than us to judge what he thinks about the role that he could have in that team, and if he’s decided that it’s not the right moment, I’m sure it was a very thoughtful process and the right decision."

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