Sunday, April 30, 2023

Is Smith-Rowe willing to stay and fight his way back into the Arsenal starting XI?

For the better part of the weekend, an intriguing story about Arsenal’s planned summer exits has been trending. Xhaka, Tierney, and Balogun are among the top players expected to leave this summer.

Notably, Emile Smith-Rowe, who many Arsenal fans feared would leave in the summer, was not included among the potential exits.

This season, the Arsenal No. 10 has struggled for game time. He has gone from being a player Arteta could rely on to a squad player after failing to find his mojo on the pitch. There are numerous reasons for his change in fortune, but I feel the long-term injury he dealt with in the first half of this season is the biggest reason he has struggled to find his mojo.

His lack of playing time, according to TalkSport, has suggested that Unai Emery could try to get him in his new Villa project, which is going very well at the moment.

Every Gooner has an opinion on whether releasing him is a good idea; however, it appears Arteta does not want to lose him. The Spaniard wants the Hale End graduate to stay, as he hinted a few weeks ago he still has him in his plans, but he still needs to fight his way back into the first team squad.

Arteta said: “He knows how much we love him, and we know how much we missed him and how much we need his qualities.

“And now he needs to prove it, he needs to prove how much he wants to win, and how much he’s going to contribute to this team to be better and win.

“And he’s going to have to show that to get in the team.

“I think we have to manage his load, but for sure he’s in a position where we can throw him in the team at any moment.

“And then it’s about how he’s coping with the team in general and whether we have to take him off or to use him in the last few minutes of the game.”

The Hale End graduate demonstrated his class during the 2021–22 season; he had 10 league goals in 33 games. They say that class is permanent, while form is temporary. Emile Smith-Rowe will hopefully recover his form over the summer and pre-season before next season.

His versatility as a winger and midfielder could benefit Arteta’s project for the 2023–24 season, but will the youngster feel he needs to move away to get more regular playing time?

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