As we all know, Danny Welbeck has been back in training for over a week now and seems to be doing well.
However, Arsene Wenger has repeatedly stated how cautious he intends to be with the striker, given his history with injuries.
He did mention that the 26-year-old could travel to Preston for the FA Cup tie but most weren’t holding their breaths, assuming that the former Manchester United star was far more likely to feature for our youth team before making any sort of return to the senior squad.
However, Welbz wasn’t included in Arsenal’s u23-squad that faced Derby (and won 2-1) on Friday afternoon. Chuba Akpom was, despite both rejoining first team training at similar times.
#AFCU23 to play @dcfcofficial: Keto, McGuane, Sheaf, Olowu, Bola, Bennacer, Zelalem, Mourgos, Mavididi, Dragomir, Akpom pic.twitter.com/h5Wn2Yfgzh
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 6, 2017
So, unless Welbeck has suffered a set back, is ill or just not ready to even travel, which I doubt, it looks like he could make his first appearance for Arsenal since he was injured in May.
I’m under no illusions that the striker, who I’ve missed, will start. Of course not. But if he even gets so much of a start, having him back in the squad, especially as Lucas Perez’s hurt his ankle again, could be massive.
You can read about the rest of Arsenal’s team news ahead of our trip to Preston here.