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Unai Emery revealed he plans to offer Eddie Nketiah a chance to fill for Danny Welbeck, before deciding whether to dip into the January transfer window. Welbeck is in danger of missing the rest of the season after suffering a serious injury during Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon. The Englishman seemed to break his ankle after landing awkwardly and Arsenal are set to be without the striker for several months.
Lille forward Nicolas Pepe is being linked to Arsenal, but Emery confirmed his first choice was to source Welbeck’s replacement from within the club. ‘The first [choice] is to look inside, and we have one striker also who is working well with the under-23s and is improving also, Eddie Nketiah, and he could have chances,’ Emery said. ‘But I think it’s early for speaking about the possibility [of signings] in January.’
Nketiah, 19, is yet to feature for Emery this season, but has made the bench several times for the senior team this campaign, including the weekend draw with Wolves. Arsenal fear Welbeck has suffered a break, dislocation and ligament damage in his ankle and the 27-year-old’s career at the Emirates could now be over. Welbeck is out of contract at the club in the summer and Emery was asked if the forward had any chance of playing again before his deal expired.
‘The doctor can answer that better than me,’ he replied. ‘It’s a big injury. He had an operation on Friday.’ Arsenal will need a third striker to call upon, with the Gunners still involved in four competitions and a busy winter period ahead.