Danny Welbeck’s Arsenal career could be over having suffered a “very big injury” after he was carried off on a stretcher during the side’s Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.
The testimony from Arsenal photographer was replicated by former colleagues and team mates up and down the country.
In a game which is consumed by greed, arrogance and controversy, Welbeck was one of the good guys.
A hard working pro, he never sought the limelight, never courted scandal. He was never on the front pages falling out of clubs with a desperate skank on his arm. Never pictured drunk, smoking or getting into an argument. He kept his private life and his love life private. He was the model professional.
The injury to Danny Welbeck – in such innocuous circumstances, is gutting.
His career as Arsenal was potentially already coming to an end. With just 8 months left on his contract, and turning 28 towards the end of this month, Welbeck was fighting for his future. Whether that be with Arsenal or elsewhere. He was fighting for his last long term contract. Last 4-year deal.
It is still not clear how long Welbeck will be out injured.
“He is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait, but we think it’s a serious injury,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
“Every injury is different. This could be a break of something in the ankle.
“It’s clear that we’re with him in these minutes. He’s a very good person and his commitment with us is very big.
“It’s a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person.”
Welbeck was hurt in the 25th minute when he jumped for a header and landed badly on his right ankle.
He received oxygen and had his leg in a protective brace as he was taken off the pitch, with up to 10 medical staff around him as he received treatment.
After an injury like that, the result was secondary. The goalless secured a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Arsenal are a classy club, and even if the decision was already made that Welbeck would not get a new contract, I expect we will rehabilitate him and allow him to use our facilities, doctors and physios for as long as it takes for him to fully recover. whether it be 6 months or a year.
We wish Danny Welbeck a speedy recovery.