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'I'm concerned' - Arsenal boss Arteta speaks out over Smith Rowe injury issue

23:30 SAST 2022/09/16
Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal 2022
Mikel Arteta has admitted he is concerned about the ongoing injury issues which have plagued the last year of Emile Smith Rowe’s career.
  • Smith Rowe has yet to score this season
  • He has made just four substitute appearances
  • Gareth Southgate did not name him in his England squad

WHAT HAPPENED? After a superb start to the 2021-22 season, in which Smith Rowe scored nine times in 19 games and earned a first England call-up, an ongoing groin problem saw him struggle to maintain his impressive form and he lost his place in the starting XI to Gabriel Martinelli.

The playmaker has not started a game this season and is set to miss Sunday's game at Brentford following a recurrence of his groin injury during the substitutes' post-match warm down following the defeat at Manchester United this month.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking about Smith Rowe's struggles to stay fit, Arteta said: "I’m concerned about the fact that we don’t have him available and when he’s been trying to train he’s not been feeling 100% or pain free.

"This is the main concern. We have to find a solution to that and we are trying to do so."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Asked how Smith Rowe is finding the situation, Arteta added: "Very frustrating. He’s a kid who loves playing football and it’s the biggest thing in his life and when you are not capable of doing that, especially after the run of games and performances he had with us the year before, it’s difficult.

"But injuries are part of football. You are going to get them at this stage of your career. It’s how you are going to face up to these difficult moments and then how you a re going to make the next step. You have to go through that.

"It’s our responsibility to manage him in the best possible way, to surround him with the right habits as well, with the right people around him to support everything that he needs to play at this level consistently."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta's side take on Brentford on Sunday in the Premier League looking to bounce back from their recent defeat at Manchester United.