Journalist Charles Watts is hopeful that Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will be back to full fitness in the second half of the season after his recent operation.
Back in late September, the Englishman was ruled out for a number of months – and forced out of World Cup contention with England – after it was revealed he would be having surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin.
Smith Rowe has not played for Arsenal since but has at last returned to training and was named in the squad that travelled to Dubai for a warm-weather camp ahead of the return of Premier League football.
It remains to be seen if this operation has finally solved the injury issue for good, but Watts spoke about how much of a ‘big boost’ it would be for the Gunners if their key man can now stay fully fit for the long term.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said: “He’s got a really big part to play in the second half of the season. It is that whole cliche of ‘like a new signing’.
“Obviously, he’s not a new signing, we know that. But suddenly having him involved again if he’s fit, and if he’s healthy and he’s finally got over this groin issue – which, fingers crossed, he will have done because of the operation – and you can get him back to the sort of fitness and sharpness he showed at the first half of last season, then Arsenal are going to be laughing.
“And they really need him, they need his goals. If Jesus is going to be out for a period of time, they need all their goalscorers fit and healthy and available. So having Smith Rowe there is going to be a big boost.”
TIF Thoughts on Emile Smith Rowe and Arsenal…
Despite still only being 22 years of age, a series of injuries have hampered Smith Rowe’s career. Notably, a recurring problem with his groin has kept him out in the past, so it will be great if that issue has finally been put to bed.
Indeed, the Gunners could certainly do with some positive fitness news seeing as Gabriel Jesus looks set for a spell on the sidelines after his World Cup hopes with Brazil came to a premature end.
Smith Rowe managed to score 11 goals in all competitions, including 10 in the Premier League last term, so Arsenal may well need his goals to get them through games while Jesus is out.
No doubt, he’ll be hoping for a smooth return to business during the club’s trip to Dubai.