Emile Smith Rowe, Folarin Balogun and Tyreece John-Jules have been called up by England under-21s for the upcoming 2023 European qualifiers against Slovenia and Andorra.
The trio was also part of Lee Carsley’s squad in September although Smith Rowe had to withdraw due to illness.
In fine fettle for the Gunners, Smith Rowe will be hoping to use the opportunity to prove he can step up to the senior squad.
Gareth Southgate confirmed yesterday that he was tempted to call up the attacking midfielder this time around after keeping close tabs on him.
“He’s a player we like a lot and he was very close to making this squad,” said the England head coach.
“At this moment in time, I don’t want to bring in any more younger players out of the Under-21s. They have got to earn that right over a longer period
“I thought his [Smith Rowe] performance against Tottenham was very good, we know how he finished last season as well. I can only say he is a player we really like and he was close.”
Elsewhere, Daniel Ballard, a full international with Northern Ireland, has outlined his ambitions to secure a place in Mikel Arteta’s first team squad within three years.
Currently on loan at Millwall in the Championship, the 22-year-old said: “That’s got to be the goal. Of course, I’m fully focused on staying in this Millwall team and working extremely hard.
“I want to get as much game-time as possible and help Millwall win every game possible.
“But of course there is an end goal, whether it be next year or in two, three years, I think the main goal is to play for Arsenal.”