By Noel Whelan

5th Aug, 2022 | 2:00pm

Emile Smith Rowe could be frozen out after double Arsenal development - pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Emile Smith Rowe’s minutes could be restricted even further this season following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko at Arsenal.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 22-year-old’s starts are likely to be limited to cup games and Europa League matches.

As per the London Evening Standard (3 August), Smith Rowe will miss Arsenal’s season-opener against Crystal Palace on Friday (5 August).

The midfielder revealed he is still struggling with a groin injury but could return against Leicester next week (13 August) if he can resume training in time for the clash.

The newly-minted England international scored 11 goals in 37 games across all competitions last term – despite making just 24 starts.

Whelan claimed Smith Rowe’s situation is a consequence of Arsenal making a push to compete with Liverpool and Man City.

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“This is what having a big squad is all about,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“Arteta’s never hidden his desire to spend and have a bigger squad. He’s gone and got Zinchenko as well, so that’s another player who has possibly come in ahead of Smith Rowe.

“This is what Arsenal have to do in order to compete with Liverpool and Man City – and that’s the unfortunate reality for Smith Rowe.

“It’s healthy competition.

“Smith Rowe might find himself playing in cup or European matches, but he’s got to take those opportunities. If he does well, he can become an option.

“He came off the bench last season and made an impact. It may have to be the same this season.”

In other news, Arsenal idol “concerned” about Kieran Tierney after injury latest.