Per Mertesacker has admitted that he’s glad that Danny Welbeck has returned from injury because at this point in the season, we need our players back.
Arsenal appear to be clawing ourselves out of a pit of mediocrity and bad luck recently. Draws away to Liverpool and Stoke, followed by a loss to Chelsea and draw with Southampton left us down in fourth after all our hard work during the first half of the season.
Although now we seem to have found our form again after beating Bournemouth away and then Leicester on Sunday, having our big players return from injury will be a huge boost at this stage of the season and Mertesacker agrees.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the centre back said, “We need players coming back. We have long-term injuries, which gave us a bit of a struggle, especially in January, where we played in December and January with almost the same team.
“The players gave us great energy and stepped in for other players but now we need players to come back and make the difference. That’s very important, as you could see against Leicester.
“We are happy to have Danny now and a few others are not far away. We need our players – you could see that that makes a difference. We’re happy to have at least him back and there’s more coming back as well.
“For Danny to go through a bad, injured period where he kept believing in himself, when everyone maybe doubted him, it was a great chance for him to come in and show he was ready to give everything for the team. He was always integrated into the team but when you feature on the pitch, give the team such a great goal and energy, it gives him a big lift.
“Also, that winner at the end gives you something. We hope that we stay focused on ourselves because how we defended in the first half was good. We limited them, [prevented them] from countering and that was the important thing. We kept believing that we could score against them.”
Getting players back from injury isn’t just a physical boost, as it gives us more room to rotate, but a mental one too. Knowing we have other options and combinations of players who can become a Plan B and even C could be just what we need going forward.