Arsenal injury curse strikes down Danny Welbeck
The Arsenal injury curse has struck again and not for the first time, manager Arsene Wenger will have plenty of explaining to do after Danny Welbeck was ruled out for the rest of 2015.
Regular attendees at Wenger's weekly press briefings at the club's London Colney training base have got used to updates on Welbeck's fitness in recent months, with the injury that ruled him out of the back end of last season not healing in time for the start of the new campaign last month.
Wenger kept assuring his audiences that Welbeck was edging closer to full fitness, yet a familiar tale has been played out today as it was confirmed the England striker has gone under the knife to try and resolve a knee problem.
In echoes of numerous injury lay-offs that have affected Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere in recent years, Welbeck's 'minor' injury problem has developed into something far more serious and now Wenger has something of a striker crisis to deal with.
Wenger argued that Welbeck's imminent return to fitness was one of the primary reasons why he opted not to sign another striker in the transfer window, yet this statement from Arsenal ended that hope:
"Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery on his left knee after being unable to sufficiently step up his rehabilitation work.
"The striker has been working throughout the summer to recover from the injury sustained at the end of April.
"It had been hoped he would avoid surgery, but after increasing his training workload, the injury to his cartilage did not respond as well as hoped and the decision was taken last week for him to undergo surgery by a leading specialist in the field.
"Danny is now expected to be out for a period of months and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well."
Arsenal fans now have every right to question why Wenger did not look to bring in additional attacking options to back up Olivier Giroud in the transfer window, even though he suggested yesterday there was not enough top talent to sign.
“What happened with Monaco, who sold Anthony Martial to Manchester United for €80m, I’ve heard,” Wenger told beIN Sports. “Martial scored 11 goals in the French championship - that sums it up well.
“That means it’s not the money that’s missing at the moment, it’s not the desire of investment that is missing, it’s the number of players available who can strengthen the big clubs.
“The problem at the moment is finding the players that guarantees you are a better team after, and that example last night shows you very well.
“Martial is a huge talent - he’s 19 years old. The investment is absolutely huge as well. It shows you that there’s not many players in the world who can strengthen these teams.”
Arsenal fans have heard these arguments from Wenger time and again in recent years, but they are again in a position where a long-term injury to Giroud could scupper their hopes of sustaining a title push.
There must also be renewed question marks for the Arsenal medical staff to answer, as the club's enduring problem with long-term injuries continues to undermine Wenger's efforts.
Here is how Twitter has reacted to the Welbeck news:
Last year's new signing Welbeck is out with a small long-term knee niggle but should be back after the international break, in a few months.— Wenger Knows Best (@wengerknowsbest) September 3, 2015
Sweet lies from Wenger on Welbeck. Out for months after knee surgery. Unbelievable.— Le Grove (@LeGrove) September 3, 2015
Danny Welbeck finally establishes himself as an Arsenal player after it's revealed he will be ruled out for months following knee surgery.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) September 3, 2015
Welbeck out for "period of months" following knee surgery. Statement says decision was taken last week so #afc had time to act in the window— James Olley (@JamesOlley) September 3, 2015