Emile Smith Rowe played 45 minutes for the Arsenal u23s on Friday, scoring the winner and impressing before the early change.

Emile Smith Rowe v MK Dons via Arsenal.com
Emile Smith Rowe v MK Dons via Arsenal.com

After returning from injury, Smith Rowe is playing for the Arsenal academy teams at the moment to build his fitness and match sharpness.

First, Smith Rowe completed 71 minutes against Blackburn Rovers, scoring twice. He then got a full 90 minutes for the first time in a while in an EFL Trophy game. His performances certainly don’t suggest he’s struggling from his recent injury concerns.

The midfielder impressed again in the first half against Everton on Friday, opening the scoring early on. Ben Cottrell led a counter-attack before Smith Rowe finished the chance for 1-0. But that was far from his only involvement.

The 20-year-old linked up well with Calum Chambers on a couple of occasions, playing a clever reverse pass to the right-back in behind at one stage. He also could’ve scored from another counter if not for an excellent tackle by Matthew Pennington.

But after an influential performance in the opening 45 minutes, Smith Rowe came off for Miguel Azeez. Arsenal won the match 1-0.

Without any hint of an injury from Arsenal, we certainly hope there weren’t any setbacks for the player. Instead, it could be that the club are preserving him for first-team involvement this weekend.

I wouldn’t expect the player to start, but perhaps he could be in the squad on Sunday. If not, Arsenal have that Europa League game against Molde coming up next week. Either way, it’s good to see the player scoring three in his three starts this season.