After a prolific 2021/22 season, scoring twelve goals and managing six assists, Emile Smith Rowe may finally return after undergoing groin surgery back in September, according to Charles Watts (Arsenal correspondent for Goal.com).
Arsenal play Oxford United in the third round of the FA Cup at the Kassam on Monday at 20:00 pm (UK time) as they look to improve on last season’s third-round exit at Nottingham Forest. Emile Smith Rowe may be the man to help Arsenal succeed with that task after he’s shown good signs whilst training at London Colney this week.
With the possibility of the Croydon-born baller being back, if he does start against the Oxfordshire side, he’ll have to show the same glimpses of flair he produced last season to make his way back into the in-form Arsenal attack. However, with his unique play style and quick ball control, there’s a good chance he can slot into the scarce centre-forward position and do a great job as a makeshift number nine.
Charles Watts says “You look at that Monday night game at Oxford, providing he doesn’t have any sort of setback in the build-up to that at London Colney during training, you would think that this will be the game that we see Smith Rowe return.”
.@charles_watts on Smith Rowe: "You look at that Monday night game at Oxford, and providing he doesn’t have any sort of setback in the build-up to that at London Colney during training, you would think that, probably, this will be the game that we see Smith Rowe return" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/nXIHW3T6UE
— Gunners (@Goonerplanet) January 5, 2023
With Emile Smith Rowe regaining his fitness after his groin injury as well as Arsenal looking to get a couple of deals, such as Mudryk & Joao Felix, over the line this month, it provides healthy competition that Mikel Arteta will be desperate to have come the end of the month.
The Gunners take a step closer in having the squad depth that Arsenal fans have been crying out for which begs the question… Can Smith Rowe’s return provide the essential squad depth needed for Mikel Arteta’s side to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title this season?