Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe being injured could lead to Mikel Arteta being forced to “unearth a few gems” in the club’s academy, according to insider Dean Jones.
Smith Rowe is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his return from a groin problem.
What’s the latest news involving Smith Rowe?
It’s been a frustrating 2022 for the England international, who’s lost his place in the team to Gabriel Martinelli and has struggled for regular game-time.
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During the early weeks of this season, Smith Rowe was restricted to just four substitute outings before sustaining a groin problem at Manchester United last month.
And Arsenal confirmed three weeks later that after suffering from ‘discomfort’, he has undergone surgery and will be out until December.
With the Gunners failing to bring in a winger in the summer window, even after letting Nicolas Pepe leave, Arteta now has a shortage of wide options heading into a hectic October schedule.
What did Jones say about Arsenal?
He told GUNNERS247: “What we might now see is Arteta digging deeper into the club’s academy. We’ve seen he’s not afraid to give people chances, whenever he’s got the opportunity.
“Ethan Nwaneri got his chance recently, even though it was only a few minutes, so maybe Arteta is going to have to unearth a few gems.”
Who could Arsenal use in Smith Rowe’s absence?
Smith Rowe’s injury might come as a setback to Arteta, especially ahead of a schedule like no team has ever experienced in modern day football.
But with the transfer window closed, his absence might force Arteta to turn to youth.
This is something he’s turned towards previously, notably when he brought Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka into the team and made them regulars back in 2020.
We’ve already seen Arteta make Nwaneri the youngest player in Premier League history, although the 15-year-old is unlikely to become a regular at such a young age.
But he wasn’t the only youngster on the bench against Brentford, with 17-year-old Lino Sousa also named in the squad, as was summer addition Marquinhos.
The Brazilian scored and assisted on his full debut against Zurich in the Europa League before making his Premier League debut 10 days later.
And with Marquinhos naturally being a wide player, he could be the youngster that Arteta turns to in the coming weeks, especially if he continues to impress in Europe.
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