Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta have one unhappy player in the form of midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, according to BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Alan Hutton.
THE LOWDOWN: SMITH ROWE STRUGGLES…
Before the Premier League side’s encounter with Swiss side FC Zurich in the Europa League, Arteta revealed that the 22-year-old has been struggling with injury for a while.
Indeed, after feeling discomfort in the recent defeat to Man United, he did not travel for their last match in Europe and there are currently major doubts as to whether he will return against Brentford on September 18.
Smith Rowe will be looking to get back on track after finishing 2021/2022 impressively, having scored a brilliant ten league goals whilst assisting two others in 21 starts.
THE LATEST: HUTTON MAKES UNHAPPY SMITH ROWE CLAIM…
Speaking to Football Insider, former Aston Villa right-back Hutton has claimed the 22-year-old ‘looks a bit down’ amid his current fitness issues.
“With the players that are coming in, I don’t think he’s really had the game time that he was after. You can see just in his demeanour, he looks a little bit down, he’s not as happy as he was last season.
“Getting an injury at this point in time is not ideal, especially if you’re not a main player within that team. So it’s really about him recovering from this and getting back to where he was.
“We know he’s a great player but you have to show the manager that you can do it on a consistent basis.“
THE VERDICT: BAD TIME…
Smith Rowe’s current injury woes combined with a lack of game time arguably couldn’t have come at a worst point, especially since the 2022 Qatar World Cup lies just two months away.
The midfield ace would have been hoping to kickstart this season by building upon last year’s electric form, but with time running out, it appears he could be falling further and further away from Gareth Southgate’s plans.