Mikel Arteta says Arsenal needed to “draw a line” under Emile Smith Rowe’s fitness issues following the news the England international has had an operation on his groin.
The Arsenal medical team has been trying to help the 22-year-old manage a persistent issue for much of this year but following a “significant setback” earlier this month, the player and club have bitten the bullet and opted for surgery in a bid to solve it once and for all.
It’s a decision that won’t have been taken lightly. Not only will Smith Rowe miss a significant chunk of domestic action up to January, but he’s also missing out on consideration for England’s World Cup squad.
Speaking ahead of the north London derby, Arteta explained: “We had to make a decision, we could not continue with the uncertainty; do we have him, don’t we have him, we don’t have him in certain conditions.
“We needed to put a line, draw a line, we made that decision and the player was the first one demanding almost that he wanted an end decision and we supported that. Now we have to prepare him to get back stronger than he was.
He continued: “We put all the alternatives on the table. The thing is, we’ve tried some other [options] in the last few months and they haven’t really worked to the point the player is comfortable and consistently available at his best to perform. Then we decided to take that route. We all thought it was the best decision and we stick to it and move on.”
In yesterday’s statement from the club, they estimated that the player will return to training in December. Given he’ll need to regain match sharpness, it’s more than possible that Smith Rowe won’t start games well into 2023.
At this point, Arteta won’t be drawn on a specific timeline for his number 10’s return to action.
“I don’t know. After a surgery, it’s very difficult to give a timeline, the first process, how the bones heal, how is his first reaction, is he in pain, is he not, how is he adapting.
“We need to go step by step. Obviously, we know that before the World Cup is not going to be easy. After that we have a break and we need to use it in the right way.”
What an opportunity for Nelson and Marquinhos. Let’s hope they take it!
When is Nelson coming back? Is he fit?
He’s been in all the training pictures this week – so not sure if he’s match fit but he’s training in full it appears
Good luck to ESR, he was great for us, let’s hope he can do the same (and more) when he comes back! And that he doesn’t have to face this again in his career.
It’s easy to forget how good he was 1 year ago when fully up to speed. Technique, elegance, Intelligence and a great goal scorer – he was so amazing to watch.
Hopefully we’ll see that ESR again beyond Christmas!
As others have pointed out, his teammates always seem to rate Smith Rowe as their most talented player. If this operation solves the fitness issue, he can be one of the best players in the league for years.
I’m actually convinced this is a some kind of blessing in disguise. He’ll come back stronger, this time out will help him mature as a man. He will glide and strike back in 2023💪
Back in time for the run in and his goal-a-game superpower!
Last round of games last season, Guardiola was unusually candid when describing Gundogan’s qualities. Can’t remember the actual words, but he bigged-up Iklay’s ability to drift into a scoring position late, strike the ball first time and score.
I heard that and thought “that’s ESR now… at 21… and he’s not even close to his peak.”
We have that lethal weapon in our ranks for many years. The few months he will miss will be small-fry compared to the years and years of exhilarating, effective service we’ll get from him. #OneOfOurOwn.
we all know his qualities when hi is fit ! lets hope this fixes the injury permanent, we really do now need a fit partey there lies the dilemma
Shame we didn’t pull him out of that meaningless England u-21 squad last summer get him right then, but better late than never. And I’m looking forward to seeing Emile play for Arsenal for the next decade.
If we lose Martinelli for any length of time this Fall we are in trouble. Wonder if Arteta would consider Zenchenko or Tierney on the left side of the attack if Martinelli needs a break or isn’t available.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man…step up Marqinhos
Given that the league is shutting down in November anyways this is about as well timed as you could hope for a mid season surgery. Hopefully he can come back in the new year and give us a boost.