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"He's pushing..." - Mikel Arteta could unleash forgotten Arsenal player against Southampton

Rory O'Callaghan

| Last updated 

"He's pushing..." - Mikel Arteta could unleash forgotten Arsenal player against Southampton

Arsenal will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they face Southampton in the Premier League on Friday night.

Arsenal have allowed Manchester City to make up ground in the title race after being held to successive draws by Liverpool and West Ham.

The Gunners have the opportunity to extend their lead over City at the top of the table to seven points when they host the Saints at the Emirates.

They can also guarantee themselves a top-four finish in the Premier League if they beat Ruben Selles' side.


Mikel Arteta will be hoping for a comfortable win over their relegation-threatened opponents, with Arsenal's following game coming against title rivals City at the Etihad on Wednesday.

Arsenal will definitely be without William Saliba against the Saints, with the centre-back still struggling with a back injury picked up against Sporting Lisbon last month.


Oleksandr Zinchenko is also a doubt with a groin injury, while Mohamed Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both ruled out with long-term injuries.


Arteta: Smith Rowe 'pushing' to play

Ahead of the match, Arsenal boss Arteta was asked about the status of midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

The England international played a key role for Arsenal last season but has struggled for minutes in the current campaign after undergoing groin surgery.

Since the start of January, Smith Rowe has played just 68 minutes of Premier League football and was left on the bench for the recent draws with Liverpool and West Ham.


Arteta insists Smith Rowe remains firmly part of his plans moving forward.

"He's pushing, and in football what you did a year ago, a month ago is not important, it's about what you do now, what you do yesterday and what you do tomorrow," Arteta said.

"The player has to have that mindset and the contribution has to be now to the team has to make us better and to make us win games. He's very close."

According to talkSPORT, Aston Villa are ready to reignite their interest in Smith Rowe in the summer transfer window.


Villa are aiming to reunite the 22-year-old with former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who has masterminded a remarkable upturn in form at Villa Park since replacing Steven Gerrard as manager.

Emery was in charge of Arsenal when Smith Rowe made his debut for the club in the 2018-19 season.

But it remains to be seen whether Arsenal would be willing to sell the midfielder, who scored 11 goals in 37 games for the Gunners last season prior to his groin injury.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Emile Smith-Rowe, Football, Premier League, Mikel Arteta

Rory O'Callaghan
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