Has Emile Smith Rowe has lost favour with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta - and what comes next for ESR

Alex Walsh analyses Emile Smith Rowe's situation after the Arsenal attacker's dramatic fall down the pecking order

Has Emile Smith Rowe has lost favour with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta - and what comes next for ESR

Does Emile Smith Rowe have a long-term future with Arsenal

What's next for Emile Smith Rowe?

The Hale End boy impressed last season, scoring 10 goals in the Premier League for Arsenal and playing a crucial role in their pursuit of a Champions League spot.

Unfortunately, this season has been a different story as he has yet to find the back of the net.

Smith Rowe struggled with injuries early on and underwent surgery in September.

Since then, he has faced a fight to regain his place in the team, partly due to Gabi Martinelli's strong performances. There were also discussions that involved considering Smith Rowe for Granit Xhaka's role, but that did not materialize.

However, his dramatic fall from grace is also due to clearly falling down Mikel Arteta's pecking order.

This was emphatically underlined when, with Arsenal 1-0 down and chasing the game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Arteta opted to bring on the ineffectual Fabio Vieira instead of ESR.

As we look ahead to next season, it's challenging to envision the 22-year-old being a significant part of Arteta's plans, especially considering his limited playing time despite Arsenal's numerous injuries.

Yet it would be difficult for a significant portion of Arsenal fans if he were to leave this summer.

Both he and Bukayo Saka played a crucial role in reestablishing a strong connection between the fans and the team – something that was needed, when Arteta first came in.

The forthcoming summer transfer window will be an exciting one for many, with the prospect of the club aiming to land the talented Declan Rice.

Yet for ESR and his numerous fans, the next few months will decide whether the former academy star has a long-term future in North London.

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