The 27-year-old’s contract expires in June, and the player is not close to agreeing a new deal.
Fans on Twitter are very frustrated that the Gunners haven’t planned ahead, with many asking why Welbeck wasn’t moved on in the summer when they could have got a transfer fee:
It’s a bit pathetic this. If we were going to get rid of them, why didn’t we push to sell them this summer?
— Guy Kaye (@GuyKaye2) October 3, 2018
This is exactly it. It's not that losing these players will hurt overall as they are replaceable but losing them all for nothing is madness
— FemsterLDN (@femster82) October 3, 2018
We're losing at least £50M here in transfer fees.
Should both have been sold in the summer if we weren't going to offer them new contracts
— M (@ilCapoSoprano) October 3, 2018
Some believe it is the player himself who doesn’t want to sign on the dotted line:
I dont find any truth in this. Emery rates welbeck very highly and if there's any reason welbeck isn't signing a new deal is because welbeck isn't agreeing to one himself. I can deffo see Emery and Co offering him a new deal
— Gööner (@Anonymous1076) October 3, 2018
I’m totally fine with it, if he’s after a wage increase we shouldn’t be giving him one, he isn’t a regular starter. For years we’ve rewarded the likes of Walcott and Wilshire with big contracts for being bang average, we shouldn’t do that anymore!
— northerngoona (@Northerngooona) October 3, 2018
While others are not too bothered by Welbeck’s potential departure:
I would like them to both stay not I’m honestly not too bothered. They way the recruitment has been since Mslintaat has arrived have been quality and I’m sure he’ll find adequate replacements.
— Don Farah (@donfarah87) October 3, 2018
The Evening Standard believe that the size of Arsenal’s wage bill is the main reason why neither Welbeck nor Aaron Ramsey will be offered new deals. It is believed that the club’s salary costs will exceed £200m a year, and with no Champions League football, this is unsustainable.
The question is then: why didn’t the club’s hierarchy see this coming? Like with Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere, it seems poor management decisions could allow highly valued players leaving for nothing or for very little.