Emile Smith Rowe appeared to pick up an injury against Manchester United and Mikel Arteta has issued the latest update on the midfielder.
THE LOWDOWN: INJURY STRUGGLES
Since breaking into the Arsenal first team, Emile Smith Rowe has made his mark as one of the club’s brightest prospects but injuries have stopped him from securing a regular spot in the Gunners’ lineup.
The 22-year-old missed the start of the season due to injury and has only managed 47 total Premier League minutes from four cameo appearances.
In the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, Smith Rowe came on for Martin Odegaard in the 73rd minute but appeared to suffer a knock after only being on the pitch for just about 15 minutes.
Mikel Arteta has revealed that the youngster has been struggling with fitness issues for a while and has now delivered the latest update on the midfielder.
THE LATEST: ANOTHER SETBACK
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with FC Zurich, Arteta has revealed that Emile Smith Rowe did not travel with the squad to Switzerland.
The Spaniard said: “He felt discomfort in an area that [he’s been dealing with] for a few weeks. He wasn’t comfortable after the game and he hasn’t trained in the last few days, so he’s out of the squad.”
“We don’t have that many players available, unfortunately, with injuries we’ve picked up in the last two weeks,” he added.
“This is a competition that we want to take very seriously, against an opponent that is going to make life difficult for us. We want to start the competition the right way and maintain our momentum.”
Still, on the matter of fitness, Arteta was also asked about how he planned to manage Bukayo Saka’s fitness, especially with the World Cup just months away.
“We will try – if the squad and performances allow us, we’ll try our best to manage his load and get him on the field in the best possible condition. After November, we have something that we have never experienced before.”
THE VERDICT: HOPEFULLY NOT TOO SERIOUS
From Arteta’s comments, Smith Rowe’s exclusion seems like a precaution rather than another serious injury and there are hopes he could make the matchday squad against Everton at the weekend.
Arsenal need all personnel fit and available, with a daunting fixture list in October set to hand the Gunners a solid test about their ambitions this season.