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Emile Smith Rowe scores first goal in nine months for England U21s

Emile Smith Rowe scored his first goal in nine months as England Under-21s put four past France.

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Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe scored his first goal in nine months as England Under-21s put four past France in a friendly game at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. 

Smith Rowe ended the wait for a goal after suffering from injuries with a header in the second-half to open the scoring for the Young Lions in the 50th minute.

The first half ended in stalemate with the visitors looking more assured, but the second saw England clicking with the game opening up. 

Oliver Skipp caught Chelsea’s Benoit Badiashile with an errant pass and passed it to Morgan Gibbs-White, the midfielder was allowed too much room, and Smith Rowe, who was unmarked, was the recipient of his superb cross to score from six yards out.

The 22-year old’s header opened the floodgate as England scored three late goals from Noni Madueke, Curtis Jones and Jacob Ramsey to secure a comfortable 4-0 victory.

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England will now play Croatia at Craven Cottage on Tuesday in their final friendly before Euro 2023 where they will face the Czech Republic, defending champions Germany and Israel in Georgia.

After a season marred by injuries, it was Smith Rowe’s first start – for club or country – since last June. 

The Hale End graduate has played 137 minutes of first-team action, grabbing an assist in Arsenal’s comeback win over Bournemouth, but is yet to make a start for Mikel Arteta’s side this campaign.

Emile Smith Rowe was Arsenal’s second topscorer last season with 11 goals but has endured injury setbacks.

He sustained groin surgery in September which kept him out until January. He made his return off the bench for 15 minutes in the FA Cup win against Oxford. However, he suffered a thigh injury which kept him out for another six weeks.

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