ARSENAL ace Emile Smith Rowe is back in training following a groin injury that has kept him out of action since September.
The 22-year-old's return comes after he had a minor setback at the beginning of the month.
Boss Mikel Arteta said on Smith Rowe on Friday: "He's made big steps in the last week.
"He took part in some training sessions and looked good.
"We're hoping to have him back soon."
Smith Rowe will, however, sit out the New Year’s Eve visit to Brighton.
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It's a welcome boost for the North London outfit, who in recent weeks have lost main man Gabriel Jesus through injury.
Jesus returned early from the World Cup with Brazil and underwent surgery on his right knee.
Arteta's men are currently sat top of the Premier League after 15 games played.
The Gunners have lost just once, and won their first post-World Cup fixture 3-1 against West Ham.
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Title rivals, and defending champions Manchester City, are trailing Arsenal by five points.
And serial goal scorer Erling Haaland says City need to "hunt" Arsenal down.
Haaland said following City's 3-1 win over Leeds: "Arsenal, we have to hunt them.
"Now we have to show who is the best team in the league."
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