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Unai Emery Says Arsenal Are Considering Danny Welbeck Contract Extension

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery congratulates Danny Welbeck who scored his side's first goal after substituting him during the Europa League group E soccer match between Sporting CP and Arsenal at the Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Arsenal manager Unai Emery says the club may yet hand forward Danny Welbeck a new contract despite his recent injury issues.

The striker broke his ankle in the UEFA Europa League showdown with Sporting CP in November, and he is unlikely to play again this season as a result.

Given his contract at the Emirates Stadium is poised to expire this summer, there is also a chance he has played his last game for the Gunners. However, Emery provided a positive update on Welbeck's condition and didn't rule out a new deal for the former Manchester United man, per Sean Wilson of Goal:

"[Welbeck]'s progressing very well. He is working and starting to touch the ball and working on the pitch. His progress with such a big injury is going very well.

"It's difficult for him to play matches this season but he is progressing very well and maybe the doctor will tell us he can come train with us in the last weeks of this season. 

"After, his individual thing is to speak with the club [about his future]."

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Arsenal are not short of options in the forward positions, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette excelling for much of the 2019-20 season.

Welbeck has shown in recent years he is capable of providing fine cover. While he may not be as potent or explosive as the aforementioned pair, he is versatile enough to play across the front line and has excellent application off the ball.

It appears Arsenal and the player have a big decision to make when it comes to his future. Gunnerblog would be disappointed to see Welbeck leave the Emirates Stadium:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

I would really like to see Welbeck play for Arsenal again. https://t.co/0nDF7sP8b0

In the cup competitions in particular, Welbeck has been useful for the Gunners, allowing his manager to take the strain off the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette.

However, the injuries he's accrued in recent years will surely make Arsenal hesitant about tying down the player to fresh terms. Per Transfermarkt, since joining the Gunners, he's had four problems that have each kept him sidelined for at least 122 days.

From Welbeck's perspective, getting regular football next season will be a challenge too, especially given Aubameyang and Lacazette's potency:

AFTV @AFTVMedia

Between Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they've scored 15 match-winning goals this season. [@thearsreview] https://t.co/g3iq4o7vpJ

While a step down may not be ideal for Welbeck after spending his career at United and Arsenal, he needs consistent games to recover form and fitness.

At Arsenal, the 28-year-old would remain a bit-part player under Emery. Despite his rotten luck with injuries, the forward will surely feel as though he can offer a lot more in what should be some of the best years of his career.

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