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Danny Welbeck and David Ospina Futures Reportedly in Doubt at Arsenal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Semi Final leg one match between Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium on April 26, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal duo Danny Welbeck and David Ospina are both reportedly in line to leave the club this summer. 

Following their involvement in the FIFA World Cup the pair will return to the Gunners facing uncertain futures under new manager Unai Emery, according to Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph.

"The club are focused on trimming the squad after completing their main incoming transfer business," Wilson wrote. "Emery has spent around £70 million on five senior signings, who are aimed at adding defensive resilience to the team he inherited from Arsene Wenger."

After Arsenal's signing of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen the Gunners are likely to sell a goalkeeper, and at this point Ospina appears to be a more likely departure than Petr Cech. According to Calciomercato (h/t Tashan Deniran-Alleyne of Football London), Napoli are keen on the Colombia star.

Ospina has also been linked with an Arsenal exit.
Ospina has also been linked with an Arsenal exit.Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Welbeck is entering the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium having joined from Manchester United in 2014 and is a long way down the pecking order in the forward positions. Emery has Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available to lead the line.

After a blistering beginning to his time at Arsenal following his January move, it doesn't appear as if Aubameyang's prolific goalscoring will be slowing down any time soon either:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

7' ⚽ 9' ⚽ 17' ⚽ Meanwhile, over in London, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has just completed his hat-trick 17 minutes into Unai Emery's first game in charge of Arsenal 🔥 https://t.co/9v2fOnBxnX

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It's a crucial summer for the Gunners, as they get set for a campaign without Wenger at the helm for the first time in 22 years. Emery has already been putting his mark on the squad too, with Stephan Lichtsteiner, Lucas Torreira and Sokratis Papastathopoulos already arriving.

Now the club clearly have some big decisions to make regarding potential outgoings, with Ospina and Welbeck likely to be on the fringes if they do stick around.

Emery has been busy in the transfer market since arriving at Arsenal.
Emery has been busy in the transfer market since arriving at Arsenal.CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images

The former may find himself as third choice following the signing of Leno. While he does have his flaws as a goalkeeper, Ospina is a proven Colombia international and has been dependable in the Premier League.

Welbeck is another who is a solid albeit not spectacular option. The England international is combative, hard-working and versatile, making him a useful player for managers to have around. However, throughout his career at Arsenal he's lacked a vital cutting edge in front of goal and has been hampered by injuries.

The Sportsman Twitter account put Welbeck's goalscoring record into some context:

The Sportsman @TheSportsman

😳 Kylian Mbappe has now scored more career goals (60) than Danny Welbeck has in the last SEVEN years He only made his debut in 2015 #WorldCupFinal #FRA https://t.co/JMHQPzDEUL

During the World Cup, Arsenal writer James McNicholas joked about the respective calibre of the two players linked with an exit:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

In some ways it's just a shame we won't get to see Ospina vs. Welbeck in the Final.

Emery does appear keen to quickly mould this Arsenal squad in his image, and it'll be intriguing to see how ruthless he is in letting squad players like the duo mentioned move on.

Even so, both players are capable of doing fine jobs elsewhere in the Premier League or potentially even abroad. At this point in their respective careers, leaving Arsenal and getting regular football elsewhere is surely the smart choice.

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