Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he is hoping to have Emile Smith Rowe back in full training this week.
Speaking after the 2-0 friendly defeat to Juventus at the weekend, Arteta revealed that the 22-year-old should be back in contention pretty soon:
“[Emile] hasn’t been able to train in the last few days but hopefully he can start [to train] next week. He’s been out for a while now – he needs some time to get back to speed. We really need him and we’re going to welcome him with both arms, because he’s a really important player for us. We need him fit on the pitch.”
Smith Rowe has not played since September after having to undergo groin surgery so, even if he is fully fit, he won’t be ready to start any matches for the Gunners straight away.
If he does train with his teammates over the next seven days, he should (at least) be fit enough to take his place on the bench against West Ham on Boxing Day.
In terms of other players, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are likely to be available to face the Hammers following their World Cup exploits, but Reiss Nelson, Takehiro Tomiyasu (both hamstring) and Gabriel Jesus (knee) won’t be involved. Albert Sambi Lokonga is also a doubt due to a foot injury.