Mikel Arteta is hoping Emile Smith Rowe can “jump on the train fast” as he gears up for a return to first team action.
So influential for the Gunners in 2021, the England international endured a horrible 2022 as he struggled with a persistent groin injury that eventually required surgery in September. Closing in on full fitness, it’s hoped 2023 will be much better for the 22-year-old.
Having only played 47 minutes of football this season, Smith Rowe will feel like a new signing heading into the second half of the campaign and is expected to provide competition to Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard and to be an option as a false nine.
“He knows that he has the space in the squad to fulfil his potential,” said Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Oxford United.
“We really like him, I really like him, and he is a very important player for us.
“He knows that now he needs to jump on the train fast enough to have the impact that we all hope that he can have this season.
“He can play as a left attacking midfielder, on the right, he can play off the left as well. Those qualities within those units on the outside is something that he compliments really well with. We will exploit that.”
Smith Rowe has previous when it comes to making an impact after Christmas. His breakthrough moment with the Gunners came on Boxing Day 2020 when he starred in a 3-1 win over Chelsea and he went on to feature in all but five matches during the rest of the season as he consolidated his status as a first team player.
Clearly, we’re all hoping he can get back to his best but there’s also a sense we may need to be patient knowing the recovery process after surgery isn’t necessarily linear.
“I think we have been pretty cautious in the past month or so, in terms of how we have progressed him in training.” noted Arteta.
“And again you have to throw him out there and he needs to be able to observe the minutes, and that is why we have probably extended his preparation a little bit.”
Great news! Fingers crossed he stays fit & looking forward to him getting back to his best form!
He is as good as Mudryk.
If he kicks on and stays fit for the rest of the season – and that is a big IF I know – he could be worth an extra 10 points over 21 games. That is enough to decide where the title goes.
I wouldn’t say 10, because I don’t think we are going to drop a lot of points in close games. But 5-6 points is realistic
I’d go for somewhere between 1 and 20 points.
I’d go for between 2 and 19
between 3 and 18
I hope so but I suspect the title will be decided, as is usually the case, on overall squad strength in depth. I think that (currently at least) we not have quite enough “in reserve”, even with ESR back and on top form. A look at the team City put out yesterday vs Chelsea is a pointer. That’s why Arsenal’s business in this transfer window could well be crucial come the end of the season.
*we may not have…
I think we exaggerate Man City’s strength at times. They’ve drawn with Newcastle and Villa away, and Everton at home! They’ve been beaten by Brentford at home; all these with their super squad. There is an evident chink in their armour.
They’ve dropped 12 points in 17 games, and I am sure are capable of dropping 12 more, or even more.
I have been saying this for sometimes now.
City are not super dominant this season. I fancy Arsenal nicking the necessary points from them
I certainly don’t think that they are unstoppable and I can imagine that they will drop more points – but so will we, won’t we? With the best will in the world I don’t see a “mini-Invincibles” in the second part of the season. Look at the Newcastle result. Hardly anyone on this site prior to that game thought we’d do anything else but win, and some by a big margin. So you never know. I think there’s little doubt that as the squads stand now, City have the deeper strength in depth (the Chelsea game is an example). That… Read more »
Haaland, De Bruyne, Gundagan, Grealish, Stones (who had a very good World Cup) Ake (ditto) all fit but on the bench. I’m sure I missed some. No comparison to any other team in the world, bar maybe PSG. And no coincidence there.
My point is: they are dropping points with all those players. Arsenal will sign players. Before that though, ESR is a key return. If we had him on the bench against Newcastle, we might be talking about 46 points now.
Generally, I think we’ll have all it takes to match City for the next 21 games after the January window.
LANS! Lets hope his injury woes are behind him, so much potential, having him and Saka firing on all cylinders was almost certainly keep us at the top.
I love ESR, have done since he burst onto the scene. I love how direct he is, and eager to take on his man and attack space. But I don’t get the feeling Arteta is as convinced that he has the mentality to be an elite level player. I think he has the ability but you can’t be eating Nandos when you want to be the best. There is something there I can’t put my finger on. Here’s hoping he comes back from this injury all guns blazing. A fit ESR is dangerous to any opposition
I have had that feeling too, comparing Arteta’s words to that of other Hale End graduates. But I temper that with Arteta’s other implication that some players need a tougher form of love. He challenged Smith Rowe when he inherited the number 10, and he’s challenging him now. I think ESR will rise to it.
Wasn’t all that about him *not* eating Nando’s anymore? Crazy to think young players might grow up, change their habits and improve their mentality, I know
Is Nando’s even that bad in the first place? There are worse vices than grilled chicken…
Was thinking the same but having not been to Nando’s in 15 years i thought maybe I forgot something. Maybe it’s about the sides or the drinks? Or the kind of ladies one might pick up at Nando’s?
“Careful when you go there lad, you might enjoy yourself half a chicken but it’s the other birds there I’m worried about, not the ones you eat. You’ll think to yourself ‘pretty hot’ and I don’t mean the sauce, but next thing you know it’ll feel like pissing out piri piri sauce every time you go to the loo”
Why did I read this in a Jason Statham-starring-in-a-Guy-Ritchie-movie voice?
That’s the thing, you go to Nando’s and suddenly you’re sitting there with a thigh in one hand and a breast in the other.
Another Aaron Ramsey unfortunately.
Cue the downvotes.
Aaron Ramsey was quality so is ESR. Lets hope that’s where the comparison ends
When asked about the Arsenals title challenge, Son Heung -Min admitted he didn’t know what a title challenge was
Because the scams have never challenged even a community title.
You can’t give what you don’t have and don’t know.
So, I am not surprised at his response. In fact, I admire his honesty of not knowing what I title challenge is.
Let’s get the double over them this weekend. It is long overdue.
It’s when you come third. I’m surprised he’s forgotten!
It’s great to see ESR back but it’s not fair to expect much from him this season.
It will take a while for him to get fully fit and in the groove; and let’s be honest: he wasn’t a world-beater before he got injured. Yes, he’s still on the leaning curve and has a long way to go, but he’s not going to change our season.
I really hope the news about Felix is true.
It so frustrating how slow Arsenal can be in conducting transfer businesses.
I haven’t noticed any slowness in recent years. We are no different to any other club. Surely we can’t be blamed for the time taken with Mudryk.
Absolutely, the long duration is due to Shakhtar trying to milk it and we’re rightly refusing to be a cow.
Playing the long game, usually better value is to be had towards the end of the transfer window.
Felix sources are credible so definitely some truth to the rumours.
Though he started last night for Atletico against Barcelona so presumably a deal is nowhere close to being finalised.
I heard Unitrd have the option of first refusal.
No idea if this is true, but I know for a fact that the player has the option of last refusal. If he doesn’t want to go to United, that’s it.
I’d really love for Arteta to try him out at 9 for a bit as he said he might, he’s got the pace, acceleration and dribbling out of tight spots that could make him a really decent centre forward for the way Arsenal play imo
Looking forward to seeing him back when fully fit.
‘Like a new signing’
Brings back the Wenger days