Arsenal Training Session
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'He's close': Mikel Arteta says 'extraordinary' Arsenal ace could feature tomorrow

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has provided a positive fitness update on Emile Smith Rowe.

The Hale End graduate missed the draw with Burnley on Saturday after sustaining a hip injury during the victory over Leicester the week before.

After some initial fears over how serious Smith Rowe’s injury could’ve potentially been, the club was able to confirm last week that the problem was not as bad as first thought.

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And speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-16 first leg with Olympiakos, Arteta confirmed the 20-year-old was close to returning, potentially even for the midweek clash.

“Yes, he’s close to returning and he’s going to have a full session today to see if he can be involved in tomorrow’s game,” the boss told Arsenal’s media team.

“After training we will know exactly where we are with him.”

Smith Rowe has been sensational for Arsenal since finally breaking through into the first team late last year, providing the Gunners with much-needed creativity in midfield.

In January, Arteta said of Smith Rowe and fellow Hale End graduate Bukayo Saka: “They are developing really well.

“That’s a merit to them, a merit for their teammates and everybody that is involved to try to support them and protect them as well. 

“But the performances that they are putting in are extraordinary.”

With Arsenal’s Premier League form continuing to let them down, the Europa League is increasingly looking like the most likely opportunity of reaching the Champions League.

Hopefully Smith Rowe will be passed fit and help the Gunners establish a decent first-leg lead on Thursday.

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