Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta ‘concerned’ by Emile Smith Rowe injury but says midfielder is ‘in a good place’

George Flood
·1-min read
<p>Injury blow: Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe limped off before half-time against Leicester</p> (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Injury blow: Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe limped off before half-time against Leicester

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits he is concerned by the injury suffered by Emile Smith Rowe against Leicester, but says the young midfielder is in good spirits.

Smith Rowe started for the Gunners at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, but was withdrawn three minutes before the interval and replaced by Martin Odegaard after appearing to suffer a hip issue.

The 20-year-old was one of three players to be taken off injured in the match, with Leicester’s Harvey Barnes carried off on a stretcher and experienced Foxes defender Jonny Evans also hurt.

Arteta blamed the “insane” fixture scheduling for that high number of injuries after Arsenal backed up their thrilling Europa League last-32 second-leg victory over Benfica with a 3-1 win in the East Midlands secured by goals from David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe that cancelled out Youri Tielemans’ early opener.

Providing an update on Smith Rowe specifically, Arteta said: “I’m concerned because for Emile to come out and say, ‘I cannot continue playing’... It should be something related to his hip.

“I don’t know how bad he is but he was in a good place after the game.”

Academy graduate Smith Rowe has made a key breakthrough at Arsenal this season after previous loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town, scoring five goals and registering six assists in 23 appearances across all competitions so far in 2020/21.

Arteta will hope the so-called ‘Croydon De Bruyne’ is not sidelined for long, with Arsenal’s tough upcoming schedule including their Europa League reunion with Olympiacos and a north London derby against Tottenham as well as other heavyweight Premier League clashes with the likes of West Ham and Liverpool.

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