Get up to date on Arsenal transfer news, injury updates, fixtures, not restricting reports on Arsenal Ladies and share your opinions on Goonerhead
Unai Emery has confirmed a huge double blow with Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichtsteiner both suffering injuries during Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night.
It was a frustrating night at the Emirates as we limped to a disappointing goalless draw that secured qualification to the knockout stages of the Europa League with two games to spare but obviously the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Welbeck.
The striker required lengthy treatment after falling awkwardly while challenging for a header midway through the first half and was stretchered off with his right ankle in a brace after being given gas and air by the medical team.
Some of the Arsenal players looked on in horror at what was clearly a serious injury for Welbeck and Emery feels the situation cast a shadow over the game as the injury was ‘with the mentality of the players’ for the rest of the match.
The Arsenal boss confirmed the former Manchester United forward has been taken to hospital to have the ‘serious’ injury further assessed but the early signs suggest it’s a broken ankle, which will be a devastating blow.
It was a costly night for Arsenal as Lichtsteiner also limped off during the closing stages of the game with a suspected hamstring strain. The full-back was chasing a ball down the right flank when he suddenly pulled up clutching his leg but Emery says we should find out how severe the injury is today [Friday].
Speaking after the game on Thursday night, the boss is quoted as saying by Arsenal.com:
on Welbeck’s injury casting a shadow…
It’s the worst news tonight, this injury. It’s clear that we are with him in these minutes. He was working well and he was having a good match. He had some chances too. His injury was with the mentality of the players. They [saw] it was a big injury. When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don’t want it to happen but this is our profession.
on Welbeck going to hospital…
Yes, now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait – but we think it’s a serious injury.
on if it’s an ankle injury…
It’s an ankle.
on how sad it is to see Welbeck injured again…
Every injury is different. This [could] be a break of something in the ankle. It’s a different injury to others.
on if Welbeck’s future is here despite the injury…
He’s a very good person. His commitment with us is very big. He’s helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity. It’s a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person.
on severity of Lichtsteiner’s injury…
It’s muscular. Tomorrow we will know better.
It’s devastating for Welbeck to have suffered yet another serious injury as he had started the season well with 5 goals in his 13 appearances so far and was looked fit and sharp. He now faces a long road to recovery and with his contract due to expire in June 2019, it remains to be seen whether he’ll be handed a new contract following this latest set-back.
The Lichtsteiner injury is also a blow as it leaves us low on options at right-back and puts the pressure on Hector Bellerin to stay fit. Carl Jenkinson has been given a couple of starts recently but I think Emery will use Ainsley Maitland-Niles as Bellerin’s back-up if required.