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Arsenal: Charles Watts excited as Emile Smith Rowe could return in FA Cup

Emile Smith Rowe could make his long-awaited Arsenal return in their FA Cup clash against Oxford United – with Charles Watts describing it as a ‘big, big boost’.

What’s the word?

The midfielder has been absent since September with injury, but is set to return as Arsenal travel to Oxford United in the FA Cup third round.

The Englishman was in sensational form for the Gunners last season, scoring 10 goals and assisting twice in 33 Premier League games – and the academy graduate could provide a big boost to Mikel Arteta for the second half of the season.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts highlighted how important Smith Rowe’s return could be and stated that he expects him to play some part on Monday night.

Will Arsenal win the Premier League?

Yes!

Yes!

No - they'll fall short

No - they'll fall short

He said: “We could well see the return of Emile Smith Rowe, which would be very good news for Arsenal.

“They’ve sort of shied away from giving him a chance so far in the Premier League while he’s just getting used to being back training again, but he’s been through full training for a fair while now.

“You look at that Monday night game at Oxford, and providing he doesn’t have any sort of setback in the build-up to that at London Colney during training, you would think that, probably, this will be the game that we see Emile Smith Rowe return.

“Whether it’s a start or whether it’s just half an hour [from] the bench late on, it’ll be a big, big boost.”

A vital option

Arsenal have been sensational this season as they sit top of the Premier League, but with Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson injured, their attacking options have been depleted.

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Having the 22-year-old back as an option, even if only off the bench, could be crucial. Arsenal made just one substitution in their 0-0 draw with Newcastle – a defensive one – and had limited attacking options they could bring on to grab a goal.

The England international can inject more goals into the side, as well as allow Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka to rest and maintain their own fitness as the Gunners prepare for a tough second half of the season.