So, Danny Welbeck will be out of action for several months, perhaps even the remainder of the season, after suffering a serious ankle injury earlier in the month against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League.
The good news is that the 27-year-old underwent a successful surgery and is on the mend, although it’s believed that a second operation could be on the cards. The bad news, apart from the forward being sidelined once again, is that Unai Emery has lost an attacking option to utilize.
Emery does have a few options upfront in Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi. However, Welbeck was mainly being deployed on either side of the main striker, a position where Arsenal are lacking and need bolstering. Lacazette and Aubameyang can play out wide, but both are primarily strikers. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Iwobi have also featured more in the wide position of the front three, but again, both prefer other placements in the line-up. The point being, with Welbeck out, not only has Emery lost an attacker, but the Spaniard doesn’t have a lot at his disposal when it comes to filling a front three, especially if another picks up an injury.
So, should Emery look to find a replacement for Welbeck this January?
Personally, even if Welbeck was fit, I believe the team lack in the wide position and a proper out-and-out winger. The club have been linked with a few in recent weeks, but its uncertain whether they will bring in someone in January to fill Welbeck’s position. Many fans will suggest that Arsenal have a potential replacement for Welbeck in the shape of Eddie Nketiah, who has shown promise when he made some cameo appearances last season. However, the youngster has yet to feature under Emery and putting faith in the 19-year-old could prove too much for him in the long run.
If Emery and the club can sign a forward in January to fill Welbeck’s void in the team then it would certainly go down well with the Arsenal faithful and could prove vital in their quest to finish in the top four this season.