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Arsenal dealt gutting injury blow ahead of Zurich

Arsenal have been dealt a gutting injury setback ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash with FC Zurich…

What’s the word?

Gunners star Emile Smith Rowe has not made the trip to Switzerland after he picked up an issue during the warm-down following their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday evening.

And it has now been revealed that the 22-year-old has been carrying a knock for quite some time.

“He felt discomfort in an area that [he’s been dealing with] now for a few weeks. He wasn’t comfortable after the game and he hasn’t trained in the last few days, so he’s out of the squad,” manager Mikel Arteta claimed in his pre-game press conference.

Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson have also been left back in north London ahead of tonight’s encounter.

Will Arsenal miss Smith Rowe tonight?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Big blow for Arteta

This will come as a big blow for Arteta and the squad as he would have liked to see his side bounce back from their first defeat of the new campaign by delivering a solid display against FCZ tonight, whilst also kickstarting their Europa League quest with three points.

That task is made a little more difficult without the services of Smith Rowe, who is one of the Gunners’ most lethal prospects in attack.

With Everton, PSV Eindhoven and arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the horizon, the Spanish head coach will surely have to rotate his starting pack if he’s to keep everyone else fit and firing across all competitions.

The England international is yet to start a match this term, so tonight’s encounter would have been an ideal opportunity to unleash him from the off.

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WHO IS THE PLAYER?

After all, Smith Rowe ended last season as Arsenal’s second-highest goalscorer on ten goals, six more than ex-striker Alexandre Lacazette, and did so managing fewer shots per game (1.2), too.

Once described as a “difference-maker” by another former Gunner in Mesut Ozil and likened to Robert Pires by BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand, it’s clear that Arsenal would have benefitted from his availability this evening.

But without the ‘Croydon [Kevin] De Bruyne‘, Arteta may not be able to rest the likes of Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka, which could leave them light on fitness heading into the weekend’s return to Premier League action.

The former Manchester City assistant will surely be gutted to not have his star boy available today.

AND in other news, Arteta’s “waste of money” who lost the ball every 4.6 touches let Arsenal down vs United…

Article title: Arsenal dealt gutting injury blow ahead of Zurich

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