Steve Bould says that as far as the club are aware, Emile Smith Rowe is currently having no problems with the injury that has seen him miss most of this year.

Emile Smith Rowe (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)
Emile Smith Rowe (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)

Smith Rowe made two appearances for the u23s’ against Blackburn and Brighton last week, as he continues his recovery from an injury initially sustained all the way back in 2018.

Although the 19-year-old did make a few substitute appearances for RB Leipzig between then and now, he never managed to completely shake off his problem. However, u23 head coach Steve Bould says over 60 minutes and a goal on Friday show he’s almost there now.

“It’s huge for him,” Bould said. “He played 45 minutes in the first game and got to 60 today, and we were always going to take him off, so it was great that he scored just before he came off.

“He’s building up his fitness and as far as we know he’s having no problems with his old injury, so it’s a major plus for everybody.”

I was in attendance for the Brighton u23 game on Friday, so I can say from first-hand experience that Smith Rowe is looking closer than ever to a comeback.

The midfielder had some impressive moments on the ball – none more so than the goal linked in the tweet above – but he also pressed Brighton as well as any of his teammates, showing evidence of his increasing fitness levels.

It was also clear he’s not quite there yet. Even before the substitution, there were one or two periods of the game where the England u19 international drifted a bit.

Regardless, it does seem like a first-team return for Smith Rowe could be on the cards by the time the Europa League group stage and League Cup games roll around next month.