Emile Smith Rowe has had a frustrating start to the season so far. The youngster has had multiple setbacks with injury issues which has prevented him from getting real minutes.
This is a clear frustration for the midfielder, which was proven after Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester United where he was seen dejected after suffering another injury during the post-match warm-down.
He is not the only frustrated figure, however. Mikel Arteta has also voiced his concerns for Smith Rowe’s injury woes ahead of Arsenal’s return to the Premier League against Brentford.
Speaking about Smith Rowe, Arteta said: “I am concerned about the fact that we don’t have him available and when he’s been trying to train he’s not been feeling 100% fit or pain free.
This is the main concern and we have to find a solution to that. We’re trying to do that.”
The Hale End academy graduate is yet to start a game for the Gunners so far in the new campaign, due to injury setbacks after returning to full fitness once again. These issues have come at a bad time for Smith Rowe, as he had already lost his place in the starting lineup due to the emergence of Gabriel Martinelli.
Arteta added: "Very frustrating. He’s a kid that loves playing football. It’s the biggest thing in his life. And when he’s not capable of doing that, especially after the run of games and performances that he had with us the year before, it’s just difficult.
"But injuries are part of football that you’re going to get at some stage of your career. It’s how you face those difficult moments and now you make the next step."
The injuries have come at the worst time for Smith Rowe due to the World Cup that is set to take place in November. The Englishman had made his first cap for the England national team last season and it seemed that he would kick on as a senior international, but injuries have hampered his chance of playing in a major competition.
Arteta will need Smith Rowe to maintain fitness as the Gunners are short on depth in the wide areas. Arsenal were unable to strengthen beyond Marquinhos in the wide areas during the summer transfer window meaning there is extra pressure on Smith Rowe to be available for selection.