Mikel Arteta has been urged to give Emile Smith Rowe a chance or the Arsenal midfielder could end up pushing for the exit door.
The 23-year-old had been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, but no move materialised in the end.
Arsenal were said to be open to selling the versatile midfielder and Chelsea were one of the clubs who took an interest. However, they ended up signing Cole Palmer instead.
Injuries have hampered Smith Rowe’s career of late and he now finds himself behind the likes of Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira in the pecking order.
Gabby Agbonlahor thinks that the 23-year-old should be given more first team opportunities as Havertz has struggled to live up to expectations following his £65m move from Chelsea.
“Havertz isn’t working in that role, it isn’t going to work,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Smith Rowe must be fuming watching him in there. At his age, 23, you want to be breaking into the England squad and going to the Euros.
“That’s not going to happen because he’s not getting the game time. He must be so frustrated.
“Look at Cole Palmer, he will get a lot more game time. I think it’s something Smith Rowe should push a lot more. You need game time at 23, not to be sitting on benches.”
Smith Rowe has only made one appearance so far this season and he is yet to feature in the Premier League. With the Champions League around the corner, Arteta could see this as the chance to give the midfielder some more minutes.
He is under contract in North London until 2026, but he will surely be considering his options if he doesn’t get much action in the coming months.
The Arsenal boss recently discussed Smith Rowe and insisted that he is still part of his plans.
“I had a conversation with him and it’s important to understand where he is,” Arteta told reporters. “The first three or four weeks were always going to be tricky for all the clubs.
“You see all the rumours and players who are not happy in every country because it’s one game per week for a month and everybody has a new season with huge aspirations, there are not minutes for everybody. September will be very different.”