Patience and hard work key as Emile Smith Rowe prepares to revive season


mile Smith Rowe is in line to make only his fourth Arsenal start in ten weeks against Brentford on Saturday as he bids to spark his season back into life after a frustrating spell.

The midfielder has had to be patient since suffering a groin injury at Old Trafford at the start December but, after finally shaking off the issue, he is fully fit again and ready to help Arsenal in their bid to qualify for the Champions League.

With Gabriel Martinelli suspended following his red card against Wolves, Smith Rowe is set to come back into the team at Emirates Stadium against the Bees.

The Premier League winter break came at the perfect time for the 21-year-old. Before it, the Arsenal medical department had agreed to take a cautious approach with his return and he essentially took on the role of super-sub, scoring off the bench in three successive Premier League games over the festive period.

But the mid-season break and Arsenal’s trip to Dubai provided an opportunity for Smith Rowe to get fully fit.

He used the warm-weather training camp in the Middle East to work with performance and injury rehabilitation specialist Chris Bowman, who runs the company Elite Sports Performance.

Bowman is popular among footballers and has worked with many elite athletes, including Ireland rugby captain Johnny Sexton.

Jack Wilshere has worked with Bowman before and Arsenal also have good links with him as one of their physios, Simon Murphy, studied alongside him at the University of Nottingham.

As a result, Smith Rowe linked up with Bowman and Murphy in Dubai, doing extra sessions to ensure he returned home fully fit. That hard work has paid off and he now has a chance to re-establish himself in the team.

Smith Rowe made a flying start to the season, which was rewarded with his England debut in November, and Mikel Arteta will be keen for him to rekindle that form.

AFP via Getty Images

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