Facing the media on Friday morning, Arsène Wenger conceded that Danny Welbeck’s injury could see the Gunners pursue a striker this summer.
Welbeck suffered a knee injury at Manchester City last Sunday and has had surgery this week, ruling him out of action for nine months.
It’s a huge blow as Welbeck, who had only just returned from a 10-month lay-off due to a problem with his other knee, was impressing and looked likely to be given a chance to prove he could become Arsenal’s first choice striker.
Now, though, plans for next season will have to be revisited and signing an attacking player will surely be on the agenda?
“It’s a good question,” the boss confessed when asked if the injury would force Arsenal’s hand in the transfer market. “We’ll have to think about that. When a player is out for nine months you have to consider that’s a season and it makes you short on the striker front.”
This week, it has been made official that Michy Batshuayi will be allowed to leave Marseille this summer while talks go on between Real Madrid and Alvaro Morata. It’s likely the Spanish giants will look to turn a profit on the 23-year-old.
Arsenal have been linked with both men and those rumours aren’t likely to die away soon.
As for Welbeck, Wenger doesn’t feel Arsenal could have done much more to avoid the injury, which he puts down to bad luck. Welbeck had been left out of the starting lineup in a number of recent games as the boss looked to go slowly with his return after such a long time out.
“I was a bit worried because he was not completely free. Sometimes you protect him a little bit in training and I didn’t want him to overplay after one year out. There are still some residual pains in his knee sometimes, so I was cautious.
“It’s the other knee that got injured. I accept that I have to look at myself in every situation but in this situation I think I was cautious enough.”