Arsenal confirmed that Danny Welbeck would be leaving the club by presenting him with a plate at the same time as Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey got theirs, so where will the forward end up?
Danny Welbeck’s time at Arsenal has been plagued by three serious injuries, the most recent of which he has yet to recover from. Despite having a limited transfer budget this summer the club have opted to free up Welbeck’s £125kpw wages and let him leave on a Bosman, perhaps replacing him internally with Eddie Nketiah or another youngster.
Under Unai Emery, Welbeck has played just 14 times and while there is no doubt he would have seen more game time if his ankle hadn’t snapped like it was made of Jack Wilshere DNA, his return of 32 goals and 15 assists from 126 games since his £16m transfer from Manchester United in 2014 has hardly spoken of restrained striker just waiting for a run of fitness.
Arsenal’s wordless announcement was confirmed by Emery after the match when the head coach said, “I’ve talked to the club and the decision is he’s leaving.” We don’t know if the decision was his or the club’s, although I’m sure that will become clear in time. Perhaps Welbeck wants more time than Arsenal were willing to guarantee him. It was claimed a new offer was on the table, or at least being considered, but with reduced terms and more performance-related bonuses.
It was also recently reported that Welbeck’s agent had been offering him around with Newcastle declining the chance to sign him but he is unlikely to have a shortage of offers. Galatasaray have been long-time admirers and now there is no fee involved could well step up.
Everton, West Ham and Valencia have also been mentioned as possible destinations for the 28-year-old.
Arsenal have reportedly identified Wesley as the player they want to replace Welbeck but, as I said earlier, the budget is tight. Also needing defenders, a midfielder and at least one wide man, spending on a forward may not take priority.
Nor should it given the state of us defensively.