Young Gunner Emile Smith Rowe has claimed that he is ‘desperate’ to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s side before the end of the season as he looks to help Arsenal hunt down their first Premier League title since 2004.
The Englishman managed 10 Premier League goals for Arteta’s side in a breakthrough campaign last season, but injury and lack of fitness has seen him fail to start a game in the top flight this season.
Smith Rowe suffered a particularly bad injury following the defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he required surgery that kept him out for several months.
However, he has appeared as a substitute in three of the last four top flight outings (albeit with limited minutes), and found the back of the net while on international duty with the under-21s against France over the weekend.
Speaking to the Athletic, the 22-year-old revealed that he is now pain free, but remains desperate to find a way into Arsenal’s side for the remaining 10 games of the season.
“I’ve never had surgery before. It’s been tough, but I’m glad it’s all sorted now. I don’t feel any pain. I just need to kick on”, he explained.
“I’m desperate to be playing, the team are doing really well and it’s something I want to be a part of”
“I’ve got to stay fit now for when the manager needs me. I’m trying to work as hard as I can so I’m ready to perform”.
Previously deployed on the left-side of attack, Gabriel Martinelli has since made that position his own under Arteta, and is the club’s top goalscorer in the top flight this season, while Leandro Trossard is a more than capable back up.
There has been speculation that Smith-Rowe could take over from Granit Xhaka in the centre of midfield in the future, but it is unclear just how ready Arteta feels the youngster is for that role this season.