Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Danny Welbeck was desperate to return to action after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The England international just made his long-awaited return to action in the FA Cup win over Preston North-End, having been out of action since May, coming off the bench with 15 minutes left to play.
This wasn’t his first lengthy absence of late however, as last February he was returning from 10 months out with a knee injury, and Wenger has revealed the mindset of his forward.
“I think he [Welbeck] went from … certainly desperation because the setback he had was absolutely atrocious,” Wenger said. “The patience you need when you’re that age – it was terrible.
“And to miss the European Championship on top of that, after missing the start of the season. But he worked hard and certainly what happened to him will make him stronger. You have to go through it and that was a very difficult moment for him, I think he suffered a lot but I hope, touch wood, that he now will have a clean career.
“A football club is built for people who are competitive so mentally it is difficult [for injured players].
“We let him go outside as well and mixed his time. Of course we spoke with him a lot but at the end of the day, when something like that happens to you, you have to deal with it on your own. But we tried to support him, of course.”
“He has been out for such a long time, that just for him to get 15 minutes was great,” Wenger added. “I think I had a hesitation but in the end he nearly scored, so that’s good.”
Will we have the same Welbeck back or will he now be over-cautious of falling foul of injury once more?