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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Ready to Sell Danny Welbeck Amid Everton Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03: Danny Welbeck of Arsenal FC in action during the UEFA Europa League 2017-18 semi-finals (2nd leg) match between Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal FC at Wanda Metropolitano on May 03 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Arsenal are ready to sell Danny Welbeck, with Premier League side Everton said to be keen on the England international striker.

Gunners head coach Unai Emery will welcome a bid from the Toffees after telling the former Manchester United attacker he can leave, according to the Times (h/t Metro).

Welbeck is "open to moving on," per Metro, after a slew of injuries have blighted his time in north London.

Knee injuries cost Welbeck most of the 2015/16 season as well as a portion of the following campaign. While there's no doubt he hasn't been helped by struggles to stay fit, there is more to Welbeck's uneven form at Arsenal.

Signed on deadline day in the summer of 2014, Welbeck hasn't provided enough goals and assists to become a feature of the starting XI. Always erratic in front of goal, the 27-year-old hit 10 goals across all competitions last season, his best return as a Gunner:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

10 - In 2017-18, Danny Welbeck reached double figures for goals in all competitions for the third time in his career (also 2011-12 and 2013-14). Handy. #ThreeLions https://t.co/Jxf9T4lJdH

Yet there have been too many stretches in which Welbeck failed to find the net:

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Danny Welbeck: Has scored in the Premier League for the first time since September, ending a goalless run of 17 matches in the competition #ARSSOU

His own issues as a finisher are compounded by the quality strikers ahead of him at Arsenal. Both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are cooler and more efficient when presented with chances.

It's difficult to see Welbeck supplanting either attacker on the watch of Emery, who succeeded Arsene Wenger this summer. Instead, it makes more sense for Emery to cash in on a forward surplus, particularly if it means Arsenal landing a transfer target.

The Gunners are reportedly interested in Croatia international centre-back Domagoj Vida but would need to sell Welbeck and Shkodran Mustafi to fund a bid of £25 million, per Mark Irwin of the Sun.

Lacazette and Aubameyang are both ahead of Welbeck in the Arsenal pecking order.
Lacazette and Aubameyang are both ahead of Welbeck in the Arsenal pecking order.Tim Ireland/Associated Press

This isn't the first time Welbeck's future at the Emirates Stadium has been called into question. In July, the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson reported both Welbeck and backup goalkeeper David Ospina could be high-profile departures as Emery continued to reshape the squad.

Arsenal can afford to let Welbeck, who is out of contract in 2019, go, despite the need for cover behind Lacazette and Aubameyang. Eddie Nketiah can provide depth after the 19-year-old caught the eye during Wenger's final season in charge.

There may also still be a place for Lucas Perez, despite Portuguese publication A Bola (h/t Duncan Robinson of the Daily Star) reporting Sporting Lisbon have agreed a £4.4 million deal to sign the striker.

Perez could be another option up front.
Perez could be another option up front.Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

However, Perez's agent, Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle, denied any such deal is in place, per Calciomercato.com (h/t Metro's Tom Olver).

Both Perez and Nketiah offer superior quality as finishers compared to Welbeck, whose commendable hard work and pace can't mask a lack of goals for much longer. Cashing in now is Arsenal's best move.

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