Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal will ‘need’ for their Premier League title challenge after the midfielder made his return in the on Monday evening.
The 22-year-old has been sidelined since September due to a groin injury which required surgery.
The midfielder made his long-awaited comeback on Monday as he came on as a substitute for the final 15 minutes in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Oxford United in the FA Cup.
When asked about Smith Rowe’s return after the game, Arteta said: ‘It’s good.
‘Obviously it’s been four months since he played so I think it was the perfect game to give him some minutes to get out of the blocks.
‘Now he needs to start to be available and to start to play at the highest level because we’re going to need him.’
Meanwhile, Arteta also praised the performance of Fabio Vieria, who provided two excellent assists in Arsenal’s win over the League One club.
When asked about Vieira’s display, Arteta replied: ‘Really happy, obviously he contributed in a big way to win the game.
‘That’s his quality – to create goals, to decide games in the final third and he had two really good moments that helped us win the game.
‘The way the game was in the first half he was man-marked all the time and didn’t have a lot of space.
‘The game became really direct and unclear for him. But the moment we started to do things better he found more spaces and that’s his game.’
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