Arsenal fans are demanding that Emile Smith Rowe start ahead of Kai Havertz after his impressive performance against Brentford — but it looks like they are going to be disappointed.
Smith Rowe started his first game for Arsenal in 499 days when he starred in their 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Brentford, but his skillful performance has left fans wanting more.
One user wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: «Emile Smith Rowe is one of the best things to ever happen to Arsenal. He is way way better than Havertz in the AM role.»
Another wrote: «Emily Smith Rowe should be starting and playing that left number 8 role for Arsenal. Enough of this Havertz experiment by Arteta. ESR is born for that role with his runs and movement especially with Rice as the single pivot.»
One fan simply wrote: «Emile Smith Rowe is back.»
But it looks like fans are going to be disappointed after Mikel Arteta said the midfielder has not yet returned to full fitness after suffering multiple injuries last season.
The 23-year-old was taken off in the game that marked his 100th appearance for Arsenal after 68 minutes against Brentford despite his impressive performance.
Arteta said: “Physically, he’s still not there to play 90 minutes, we have to bear in mind that we have four or five players in that field and that was big concern for us today in the line-up, because we have seven at Colney that are not fit now.”
Arteta added that he took Smith Rowe off during the Brentford match due to concerns over his fitness.
He said: “(Smith Rowe) did (pick up a knock) but it wasn’t because of that, we had to manage his minutes. His load has seen a big spike in the last two weeks as well, and he was struggling to finish the game, the same with Reiss (Nelson).”
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