Last week Arsenal fans were given some good news on the injury front after Arsene Wenger revealed that Danny Welbeck was not far off returning training. The striker had been sidelined for over six months but has been back in light training this week after his long term absence.
Welbeck has not suffered a setback since his return to training, which is good news considering the amount of first team players that put much pressure on the injured area upon returning to training. He has been working hard to build on his match fitness, whilst his physical strength is sure to be at the top of his game right now, having had six plus months to work on it.
Wenger has today revealed ahead of the Gunners New Year’s Day clash with Crystal Palace, that Welbeck will soon be returning on the pitch, but that it may still be a few weeks before he makes another competitive appearance with the team. Wenger said: “He’s fit, he’s sharp. Will I involve him in the short-term or not, or will I play him first in a game with the under-23s? I have not decided yet, but in training he looks quite good.”
It’s great news to hear that the Welbeck will soon be an available option for Wenger again, because the English striker really offers the Gunners something different up front as opposed to Giroud. Admittedly I don’t know where Welbeck stands in this Arsenal side given Alexis’ rise to prominence up front, because I reckon that Welbeck may now be reduced to a role of the wing rather than play as a striker. However wherever the English international plays, he is sure to give Arsenal a boost in the second half of the season.
I think it’s the right decision for Wenger to give Welbeck one or two under 23 games prior to a return to the first team. This will allow him to build his match fitness ahead of a very competitive and physical premier league. It’ll then be better to ease him into a role in the match day squad rather than immediately put him back into the starting line up and risk injury. Let’s hope Welbeck stays injury free for the second half of the campaign, because as he proved last season he could be very important in our drive for success.