HomePREMIER LEAGUEEmile Smith Rowe gives Arsenal a significant title boost as Mikel Arteta...

Emile Smith Rowe gives Arsenal a significant title boost as Mikel Arteta flirts a return.

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Emile Smith Rowe gives Arsenal a significant title boost as Mikel Arteta flirts a return.

The Hale End forward has had his season destroyed by injury, but he returned to action for the Under-21s on Monday night. Arsenal’s title competition with Manchester City looks certain to go the distance this season. With 14 games remaining, the Gunners are two points ahead of the current league leaders and on set to win their first league title in 19 years.

Thus far, Mikel Arteta has stayed controlled and calm when confronted with questions about his rivalry with Pep Guardiola. The north Londoners have struck gold this season and have made a huge comeback since May.

A win against Everton on Wednesday evening would extend their advantage to five points and put the Arsenal in pole position to go the distance in the last three months of the season. But, Arteta may receive a much-needed boost in their title defense.

Emile Smith Rowe has had a rough season thus far, with injury restricting his playing time. Since August, the 22-year-old has only competed for 62 minutes in total, with surgery at the end of September keeping him out until the new year.

The winger returned to action in the FA Cup in early January, but a thigh issue hindered his comeback. Arteta announced earlier this month that he had returned to light training, although he has yet to rejoin the Gunners squad.

Leandro Trossard has performed admirably in his absence. The 28-year-old joined from Brighton in January for £21 million and has played a major role in recent victories over Aston Villa and Leicester City. Arsenal, on the other hand, continues to be under-represented in comparison to City.

With 14 cup finals on the horizon, Arsenal may be ready to welcome Smith Rowe back into the picture. The Hale Ender began for the Under-21s against Chelsea on Monday night, alongside Jakub Kiwior, and showed a number of good signs in terms of fitness.

Smith Rowe’s return and availability for selection will present Arteta with a much-needed selection dilemma. Previously, the Arsenal manager intimated that Smith Rowe may play in midfield to relieve the pressure on workhorse Granit Xhaka.

“Certainly we looked at that and how many times he is arriving in the box, and the moment he is arriving in the box.

“The kind of delivery he gets when he is in those positions. He could have had much better service on many occasions when he was in those positions. But certainly to maintain our level we need goals from midfield and that is a big target for us.”

Asked if Smith Rowe can play in Xhaka’s position instead of the left wing, a position he made his own last season, Arteta said: “He can do a bit of both, depending on the game plan and the couples and the units that we use in that left side. If you ask me where I see Emile really contributing at his best, for me it is in that attacking midfield position.”

Emile Smith Rowe gives Arsenal a significant title boost as Mikel Arteta flirts a return.

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