Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hinted in his press conference today that Emile Smith Rowe can play up front for the Gunners after he returns from his injury.

The young Englishman has barely played this season. He had to undergo surgery to solve a groin issue, and after months away from the pitch, he’s expected to be back soon.

Smith Rowe is hugely versatile, and Arteta thinks he can be our striker now.

Arsenal Emile Smith Rowe
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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe can play as a striker

Smith Rowe was one of our best players last season.

The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in all competitions, playing either in the number 10 role or out on the left flank, where he did a magnificent job for us.

The Athletic revealed this week that Smith Rowe will make his return on Monday when Arsenal take on Oxford United in the FA Cup. That is a massive boost for us, and Arteta has now hinted he could play up front – an area where we are extremely short of options at the moment.

The Spaniard said in his press conference, as per “Emile can play as an attacking midfielder, as a winger and even as a nine; I think he’s played there before.

“First of all, we need him fit and at his best, and when we have that, we have an incredible player that we have missed a lot in the last few months.

“Tomorrow he trains well, he will hopefully be available to give us something in the game.”

Arsenal Emile Smith Rowe
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The Insider’s View:

Arsenal are currently without Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian underwent surgery after hurting his knee at the World Cup, and he isn’t expected to be back anytime soon.

Eddie Nketiah has played in each of our last three Premier League games, and everyone expected him to start again on Monday as we don’t really have another striker available.

However, with Smith Rowe expected to play against Oxford and Arteta now saying that he can play up front, perhaps the Englishman could start as a number nine at the Kassam Stadium.

Even though Smith Rowe can play there, we’re not convinced it’s his best position. However, it will sure be interesting to see how he fares if he starts up top on Monday night.

Arsenal Emile Smith Rowe
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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