Welbeck returns to training

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Danny Welbeck has returned to first team training for the first time in nine months handing Arsene Wenger a timely boost as his side gear up for the final third of the season.

The England striker, who hasn’t featured for the Gunners since limping off against Chelsea in the 0-0 draw on 26 April, has been sidelined by a persistent knee problem that required surgery in September.

Given the length of time he’s been out, it’s unlikely the 24-year-old will handed a first team opportunity for a couple of weeks, but the news is good nonetheless. It’s possible he could play for the under-21s against Brighton on 5 February.

Tomas Rosicky came through 45 minutes of Friday’s under-21 game with Swansea as Steve Gatting’s men secured a 1-1 draw.

Reflecting after the game the coach said of the veteran midfielder, “He joined us today to get some match fitness. He played for 45 minutes. He had good enthusiasm, passed the ball well and it was a good experience for the kids.”

With Francis Coquelin in line for a surprise return against Burnley this weekend – the Frenchman has been training since Thursday – and Mikel Arteta fit, albeit dropped from Sunday’s matchday squad, it gives the boss a level of squad depth he’s not had since pre-season.

Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla remain the two long-term absentees.

70 COMMENTS

    • Agreed, I am genuinely very pleased about this.

      The combination of the length of time away and the desire to prove his worth will hopefully benefit himself and us considerably.

      He’s probably the LANS I’m most excited about returning.

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      • Welbeck has limitations (finishing and playing with his back to goal) but he’s got decent interplay, is quick as hell and works as had as anyone. Nothing against Theo, but a fit Welbeck would definitely have got game time at his expense recently. If nothing else he adds needed competition in all three attacking spots.

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        • I think welbeck is a fine first time finisher, but he seems to lose it when he has to take more than a few touches before his shot, so it’s probably coachable. I mean look at Sturridge, was he much better at finishing before he came into his form that year in liverpool?

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          • Yeah, from a position of zero expertise I’d say he’s probably coachable – just needs a few months of good health. It’s true that when you put him under pressure he makes great choices. Not just in the box, but keeping the ball in tight spaces. I always liked that about watching him for England before he joined us.

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        • I wouldn’t say so, they are two very different players.

          Danny, I can certainly see him in the centre foward role, leading the line, given that he does have a blend of Giroud and Walcott about him – hold up play is good, not quite as exceptional as Olivier, but good and can certainly develop it further. He has pace, while not as quick as Theo, and has a decent finish on him.

          Joel, on the other hand, I see him much more as a winger, though he is very fluid at coming into the centre, has very good vision, and is technically very good – though I think an on form Ox edges him technically.

          To put it another way, I think our genuine centre-forward options are:
          Giroud, Welbeck and Theo.

          I haven’t included Sanchez up top as I think he is suited to the wing, though could change my mind if we were to see him in that role for a sustained period.

          It’s good that we have forward options available again, can’t wait for Santi and Wilshere to return as we really will have an incredible midfield.

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          • Struggle to see how Welbeck has a decent finish on Him. Missed a catalogue of sitters last year and has never managed to get 10 league goals in 5 years of consistent game time at top premier league clubs.

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      • Beyond the capacity to rotate he hasn’t really been missed, Giroud is a vastly superior footballer as we saw last season when he walked back into the first team after his injury.

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    • I’m very excited about this. Some might think his first season with us was a little underwhelming, but in a season where he is adapting to a new team, new set-up, new coaches, new everything, it really wasn’t a bad season at all. 8 goals and 6 assists is a decent return, considering he wasn’t fully fit throughout the whole campaign as well. If he can stay fit, he’ll be huge for Arsenal. Just watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9avASHE9c

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      • Great video, thanks for posting it!

        It will be great to have DAT guy back. Just wait until he starts putting away those chances that he missed. It’s gonna be fun!

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      • That is impressive stuff. Work rate and skill. Probably should have converted a few more of the chances but I guess you could say that if you looked at ANY striker’s full reel.
        What this video did most was make me realise how much I miss Santi. Not just for his skill. Just his sheer Santiness.

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  1. It will be good to have Welbeck back in rotation again, as Theo and The Ox have been coming up short as of late. It’s a shame The Burnley fixture comes too soon for him.

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  2. Reading this & smiling sheepishly at my laptop. Great news! Welbz + Coq + Roza = LNSs (Like New Signings).
    I foresee a repeat of our last season end of season form. Only that this one would lead to the EPL trophy. #COYG

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  3. I feel like Welbeck will be our saviour up front, honestly. It only takes a good look at his English goal-scoring record to see what he can contribute. It’s just that he’s been very unlucky goals-wise with us, I can’t recall the number of times he has hit the post. Come on Welbz!

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    • Not sure Arsenal needs a ‘saviour up front’ with what Giroud and even Walcott (remember Leisecster and Man Utd) have done this season. Definitely excited for Welbz to contribute, though expecting or asking or even needing him as a ‘saviour’ may be overstating it a bit.

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  4. Adding to Cech, he is another one who has been there, since that in the league title race!

    Any fresh legs is definitely a big welcome boost.

    We are not out of the title race but we have to regroup, as well as get over our nervousness to lead the title race.

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  5. rozza and welbz to come in right away and take over from an extremely off-form and out of sorts theo and ox, they really couldn’t do any worse to be honest.

    That said, i think campbell deserves to keep his place and le coq to come straight back in as well, hell, if we’re being honest, both flamini and ramsey deserve to be benched on recent form.

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    • Harsh on Ramsey tbf. As part of a midfield two with an actual holding midfielder, he’s been excellent, and is worth putting in the side (even on the right as AW has done in the past)

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  6. Dat Guy Welbz! I know Theo and Ox got pace, but I swear Welbz has got something else about him that just leaves fullbacks for dust when he takes them on. Whether it’s technique, or he gives them the eyes I’m not sure, but he can certainly leave them behind. Looking forward to him giving us that boost we’ve been lacking!

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  7. This is what we missed Sunday. If we had Welbs at CF instead of Giroud, he wouldn’t have been subbed as Giroud was because he gives work rate, pace in behind but can also hold the ball up and has an aerial threat. Giroud like has the last 2 attributes but not the first 2 so much…hence his substitution….which I happen to think was the proper decision

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  8. He is gonna smash it from the minute he is back. just you wait.

    Still reeling from the Chelsea defeat and more so with Flams performance. he is definetly something but not a DM. No tackles??? and after seeing how he let Willian past him in a more than containable situation I can’t wait for Coq and Elneny to fill in.

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  9. Coqteta/Ramcoq any day to Flamsey. Theo needs to go back to the bench. Giroud cannot be left on the bench given his scoring record. Sanchez, Rosicky and Welbeck. Real options. El Neny can take his time.

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  10. Another Premier League champion available to the sqyad. I’m excited to see what he does for us on the pitch and behind the scenes.

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  11. Good news on the coq.
    Wouldnt be suprised if he goes straight in next game.
    Top player and in my opinion the key if we are going to win the league

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  12. Getting Welbz match fit quickly will definitely boost our attacking prowess. Need as many players available for the run in. COYG!

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  13. Hopefully Welbz coming back is a factor in us winning the title. Another hard working body can only be benefit. Fingers crossed. COYG

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  14. We could really use Wellbecks technical ability in the final third. With only Ozil unlocking the door We have been over relying on him of late. Admittly Campbell has stepped up too.

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  15. I’ve obviously been down after the weekends result & have been over analysing the remaining fixtures & generally feeling very anxious about it all, but this news has made me take a little step back from it all & feel far more upbeat about things. We’re three points off of the top of the league & have it all in our hands fixture-wise, we have a brilliant keeper with a weird hat & now Danny is coming back to give us a much needed attacking boost at the same time as Alexis Sanchez does & then Wenger will get his Coq out in the cup.

    Campbell has been great standing in, but he’s been forced to carry the burden too much when you look at Theo’s form, but the back up has arrived in force now in the form of Alexis & Danny so Ozil fill your boots!

    Come on your Gooners!!!

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    • It was same after the soton hammering, fans already saying we lost the title, but with many players out injured and playing the most 3 difficult games in all season pool away stoke away an chelsa and to be level on points with city who played everton westham and Sunderland i would say is city that didn’t take the advantage on us. And now alexis is back cow is back welbz will be back in 2 weeks mark my word just like after soton we will go on a mini run and will win against soton, bourmouth liecster and get a draw or a win against man.utd with the players we have back especially alexis and cow the team will get the much need injection after difficult 2-3 months playing with bare bones. Watch the run we will win 10 points out of 12 in the next 4 games and we will be ahead of city 3-4 points mark my words.

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  16. Good to have our squad players return too. Good option on the wings. Looks better than Theo /Ox out wide but you have to admit as a striker he is miles off Giroud and the Theo that led the line at the start of the season was far better than the Welbeck that led it last year.

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    • no worries we have alexis back and cambell on the other side theo will drop to the bench and he will need to think hard upping his game when he will be drooped if he wants to return to the starting line up. I think no other option on the bench didn’t do any favor to theo and he drooped his level, he was excellent when he played in the fist part of the season when Olivier was drooped knowing that he can lose his place at any moment , the difference is that giroud gave all fighting to win his place back and when giroud is playing with competition on the bench or to be only ST that would be grantee starting every game would always give 100% that is not the case for theo. Hope he will wake up very soon now that alexis is back.

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  17. If one just returns to training after 9 months 2-3 weeks seems like a very short time, but hopefully he’s been able to all the other conditioning type of activities up until this point. It is likely after such a long absence that he may have small setbacks as he returns to football activities, but hopefully can work through them quickly and get back out on the pitch as we could really use him now.

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  18. Great News to be having welbeast back on time after our lost to chelsit… A front trio of Sanchez, Olivier, Welbeck isn’t a bad idea. #COYG let’s go 10 matches unbeaten and see if we don’t lift the title.

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  19. I’m tipping Wilshere to become the LANS-iest LANS of all when he comes on against Man.City to score the winner and make the title safe. It will be glorious! Just wait for it…yes…

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  20. Personally, what I miss most about welbeck’s game wud be his determination. Just like Sanchez, coq who are best known for fighting so hard, Campbell and welbeck do fight for every 50-50. We won’t need to think twice abt who lacks it. But having all these players back is going to boost the team’s morale and we wud be fighting as a team like in the first part of the season as opposed to recent games when we had no drive or that special moment of magic after relentlessly trying. Feeling very optimistic about the future games. Just hoping the rotation doesn’t do damage to our cup chances. COYG!!

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    • I thin welbeck is first team on the sheet when he is fully fit with alexis, the game he offers speed trickery tracking back playing great defensively is top notch, he was always fist on team sheet when ferguson man.utd played big big games in the legaue and also in CL, and he was vital in those games. Ferguson would never sold him at any price.

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  21. i really like welbeck. we have seen only very little of what he can offer.
    hope that wenger can help his game and he improves into a deadly finisher.

    theo has’nt shown us any time during his 10 years with us that he deserves to start and play a whole game.
    dont mind if he comes off the bench or a starting role to give others a break every once in a while.

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  22. So no Yamolenko?:D

    Welbeck has plenty of potential with height and pace.

    Adelaide is a less expensive and easier player to mold than a temperamental Yamolenko.

    Giroud is now an effective enabler whose game isn’t built on pace so he is good for another two seasons at very least.

    I don’t think Wenger will sell Theo just yet. He gives us an option out wide and as an alternate up top. Wenger will want tosee how he finishes the rest of this season first.

    Welbeck returning will be a boost.

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