Arsenal: Mikel Arteta admits Emile Smith Rowe concerns as injury woe continues

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has voiced his concern for Emile Smith Rowe as the Arsenal winger’s run of injuries continues to disrupt his progression in the team.

The 22-year-old is yet to start a match for the Gunners this season and is being assessed for a groin problem ahead of Sunday’s trip to Brentford.

Having also suffered from Covid and a number of injuries last season, Arteta admits it has been a frustrating time for him and Smith Rowe.

“I am 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 per cent fit or pain-free,” Arteta told reporters at London Colney. “This is the main concern and we have to find a solution to that. We’re trying to do that.

“It’s very frustrating [that he can’t join up with England Under-21s]. He’s a kid that loves playing football. It’s the biggest thing in his life. And when he’s not capable of doing that, especially after the run of games and performances that he had with us the year before, it’s just difficult.

“But injuries are a part of football that you’re going to get at some stage of your career. It’s [about] how you face those difficult moments and how you make the next step. You have to go through that.

“It is an ongoing issue that he’s had. He’s had some discomfort in the groin area and hasn’t had any continuity this season. It’s something we are trying to assess.

“We’re trying to help him as much as possible in any way we can because we need him fit, we need him available and we need him performing at his best level because he’s such an important player for us.

“Unfortunately for this period and periods last year we haven’t had him. But it’s pretty common at certain ages, especially when he’s gone from where they were to where they are straight away.

“It’s our responsibility to manage that in the best possible way, to surround him with the right habits and the right people to support everything he needs to play consistently at this level, which is every day more and more demanding.”

Smith Rowe has not been called up for the upcoming England fixtures at either senior level or in the Under-21s.