Arsenal: Emile Smith Rowe ‘will be in the squad’ after injury
Arsenal have been gifted a big injury boost before they play Aston Villa as Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Emile Smith Rowe ‘will be in the squad’.
The Lowdown: Injury problems
Smith Rowe has been out of action for Arsenal for a month now, and has been limited to just 62 minutes of football all season.
He has been struggling with a recurring groin injury after having surgery on it earlier on in the campaign, and was thought to be close to making the squad for their 3-1 loss at home to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The Latest: In the squad
Speaking to the media in his pre-game press conference on Friday morning, Arteta confirmed, among giving updates on the fitness of Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus, that Smith Rowe ‘will be in the squad’ providing that he is fine after training (via Football Daily):
“We have to assess him (Partey) today again, he had a little muscle discomfort. Emile will be training today, so if he’s fine he will be in the squad and Gabi is still not there.”
The Verdict: Big boost
Having Smith Rowe in the squad will give the team and supporters a big boost ahead of what looks to be a crucial clash now against Villa.
The Gunners have failed to win in their last three Premier League games, having lost to Everton and drawn to Brentford as well as losing to City most recently.
Against City, Arteta did not have too many forward-thinking options on his bench, with Leandro Trossard the standout ahead of youngster Amario Cozier-Duberry and Reiss Nelson, who has only just returned from injury himself.
Smith Rowe was a star player for the North Londoners last season, scoring ten goals and making a further two assists in the Premier League, and still has so much potential at just 22 years of age.
Nonetheless, Arteta would surely relish the chance to bring the Englishman on at Villa Park, should his side need fresh legs and an extra attacking impetus.