Emile Smith-Rowe looks set to miss out on Southgate’s World Cup squad

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe broke through into the Arsenal first team about the same time, and although Saka was ever present last season for the Gunners, his fellow Hale End graduate only managed 21 starts and ended up looking like a supersub, although to be fair he did manage to score a lot of goals when he did play.

The problem is that Smith-Rowe has always suffered from intermittent injury problems, and even out on loan at Sheffield before breaking into the Arsenal team he had to have his playing time carefully managed.

His injury problems have continued into this season and also with Martinelli and Odegaard excelling on the field, he has only managed 3 substitute appearances, so even when fit he will still find it hard to get a starting spot.

This culmination of circumstances is going to make it very hard for him to break into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, and it has now become worse as ESR broke down after the Man United game. Arteta Mikel told Arsenal Media: “He felt discomfort in an area that [he’s been dealing with] now for a few weeks,”

He wasn’t comfortable after the game and he hasn’t trained in the last few days, so he’s out of the squad.”

I’m not surprised that Smith-Rowe is becoming despondent, as it doesn’t look like he will be getting much game time ahead of the World Cup.

The ex-Tottenham defender Alan Hutton when speaking to Football Insider, gave his view on Smith-Rowe: “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 good thing is that ESR is only 22, so he could still have another couple of World Cups in his future, but it certainly doesn’t look like he will going to Qatar. Hopefully a long rest will give him time to recover and he may still have a big impact on Arsenal’s season…


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  1. Aside from his injury problems, Sterling/ Grealish are generally Southgate’s main choices for the left wing position and he doesn’t play in deep-midfield area as Phillips/ Rice/ Bellingham do

    I don’t think he will be able to take Martinelli’s or Xhaka’s position permanently, so he could only hope Arteta uses a tactic that’s more suited to him in the future

  2. He has been used out of position most times. He was at his best under Teta as an attacking midfielder in 20/21. I wasn’t impressed with his showing last season. I also didn’t like how Arteta used him in terms of his positioning and role. He needs to go harder and improve on his performance when given the chance. He has a natural finishing ability which means he still has something special to offer.

  3. Surgery? Oh no! Poor ESR. You know what Emilie? Because of your being a natural goals scorer at the top level. More especially for Arsenal in the EPL. As you scored 10 or was it 11 goals for them in the EPL last season. You instantly becomes one of my favourites Arsenal players as the campaign paned on last season.
    But if you aren’t going to have surgery as been rumoured, continue with your treatment to recover from the injury that you have. And come back for strong for Arsenal before the start of the world cup. Who knows, Gareth Southgate the England 3Lions manager could give you a late call up to the England world cup squad. Irrespective of those who are ahead of you in the called up squad. He might take the decision to call you up because of your being a natural goals getter even when you are not playing very well, you still could score. For, at the end of it all, it’s goals scoring that win matches.

  4. I do not see his long term future with us as when fit Arteta still sat him on the bench or played him out of position,Which does not bode well for him unless he’s happy as a squad player ,even being our top scorer last season and his continuing injury problems I cannot see him here in the long run .
    Shame really but when a manager comes in and wants his own players there is nothing said player can do.

  5. Agree Dan, I also fear the worst . Xhaka is the man and there’s no moving the supposedly solid Granite. Regarding ESR though his best is yet to come. Once fit he could slide in effortlessly at Liverpool or City, surrounded by players who really know their craft. Can only hope it won’t come to that but wish him the very best. What a waste that would be from an Arsenal.fans point of view.

  6. ESR seems to be going the Wilshere route. So much potential but injuries won’t permit him to have a satisfying football career.

  7. A decent but overrated player .. a position I have consistently held and a missed opportunity to sell to villa when grealish left and they wanted him .. that said if as an AM I was being overlooked for granit xhaka I would be out the door ASAP ..

    1. Yeah thought ESR was competition for Odegaard as a 10, not out of position on the wing.

      With Vieira coming in I don’t see Arteta playing ESR in the midfield, a shame really.

      Instead he shuffled out of position on the wing where he is expected to compete with natural wingers?

      Don’t see him unseating Martinelli, and will ESR be happy with a bench role being 2nd?

      Didn’t need another AM with Vieira we already have ESR, Patino coming soon, and Flores able to play there as well.

      Needed a DM instead, but hey sometimes you spend 50 million on a CB when it’s not a necessity, and then 30+ million on a AM not a necessity as well.

      Twice we passed over a needed DM, but hey let’s see how things turn out.

  8. Emile appears to be plagued by the “growing” issues that badly affected Steven Gerrard’s early career, but will hopefully with careful treatment make a full recovery and continue his progress to become one of our most consistently best players.

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