Reiss Nelson & Emile Smith Rowe both faced late fitness tests before the defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday night. Reiss Nelson was deemed fit enough to make the bench, however Arsenal’s number ten still wasn’t involved in the matchday squad.
The club are determined not to rush him back as they know he could still have a big part to play this season, but to do that Mikel Arteta needs him to stay fit & minutes under his belt.
Arsenal’s number ten has only made five appearances in the Premier League so far this season, all coming off the bench and is yet to start a league game for the Gunners this campaign. In contrast, Emile Smith Rowe featured in 33 Premier League games for Arsenal last season, scoring ten goals and getting two assists along the way.
Arsenal saw last season how important a player he can be when fit and available and Mikel Arteta is keen to have him as an option as soon as possible, however at the same time knows he can’t be rushed back into action.
On a positive note…
Emile Smith Rowe has been in full first-team training for Arsenal for nearly a week now & although he wasn’t in the squad against Manchester City due to failing a late fitness test, as long as there’s no setbacks, he’s expected to make the Arsenal squad that will travel to Villa Park for the early kick-off on Saturday.
Even just having Emile Smith Rowe back on the bench as an option will be a big positive for Mikel Arteta & hopefully we see that happen this weekend.
Arsenal need a win. Arsenal need to get their momentum back & as we saw last season, Emile Smith Rowe has a knack of grabbing a goal off the bench once in a while which could be the difference maker Arsenal have lacked in recent games.