Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe has undergone surgery on an ongoing groin injury, which had been behind his limited playing time so far this season, the club has confirmed.

Having scored 10 Premier League goals last season, Smith Rowe missed the first game of the new campaign and has managed only 47 minutes across Arsenal’s first eight outings in all competitions. He was also missing altogether from last weekend’s win over Brentford.

The 22-year-old experienced what is described as a ‘significant setback’ after appearing for 16 minutes in the recent defeat to Manchester United, making surgical intervention necessary following specialist consultations and discussions within the club’s medical staff.

The operation to repair a damaged groin tendon has been deemed a success and Smith Rowe now begins a rehab programme with the hope of returning to training in December.

Sadly, it will rule him out of going to the World Cup with England this winter. Smith Rowe made his senior international debut last season, playing three times across international windows in November and March, even scoring and assisting against San Marino.

Smith Rowe was involved with the Under-21 squad for internationals in June, while his groin problem meant he was out of contention for this month’s senior games.

Had he been fit and performing for Arsenal, there is a chance he could have played his way into the squad, having already established himself on Gareth Southgate’s radar. But that chance is now gone and he wouldn’t be fit in time for the World Cup regardless.

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