Kevin Campbell has warned Emile Smith Rowe he might struggle to get back into the Arsenal first team when he returns from injury.
The midfielder will miss the start of the season after suffering an injury in preseason, and Arsenal will prepare for their first few games of the campaign without him.
It is important for players to stay fit and build momentum from the beginning of the push, and those who play in the early stages could enjoy that.
Campbell knows the importance of starting the season fit, and he says if the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are in good form, Smith Rowe might keep warming the bench even when he returns to fitness.
He tells Football Insider: “This is the way it is. Unfortunately, there is only eleven who can play.
“The great thing is, Emile Smith Rowe is still so young. He also makes a difference from the bench, he showed that last season.
“There is European games as well so he will get game time. Whenever he gets a chance he has to take it, this is the important part. At big clubs, you have to take your chances.
“The stakes have risen at Arsenal. The levels have gone up.
“The likes of Smith Rowe are going to have to step up.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Smith Rowe knows there is more competition for a place in the Arsenal starting XI now, so his injury is ill-timed.
However, if he can become an impact substitute when he returns from injury and keeps scoring off the bench, that might earn him a starting XI place again.
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