3. Emile Smith Rowe
Emile Smith Rowe burst onto the scene on a memorable Boxing Day win against Chelsea back in 2020. He followed up that season with ten goals and two assists. Since then, however, a niggling groin injury, eventual surgery and recovery have seen him on the outside looking in. The acquisitions of Fabio Vieira and Havertz have not made his return any easier.
Yet the failure of those two to properly assert themselves as starters leaves a hole which Smith Rowe could easily fill. Even off the bench, the driving runs and finishing ability of Arsenal’s number 10 would be invaluable to the team.
The only thing Smith Rowe lacks is minutes. This season, he has only been on the pitch for 24 minutes total. It will take a while for him to get up to speed. With the Champions League and the Premier League as important as ever, opportunities like the one against Brentford will be few and far between. Regardless of how many minutes he plays on Wednesday, every single one will be important in getting Smith Rowe back to his vibrant best.
Arsenal stumbled against Tottenham, and even a draw feels like a loss. With Arteta’s men back in Europe’s premier competition, every single squad member will be needed. Brentford affords him the chance to give valuable minutes to those that could be valuable players this season.