Arsenal will be without England forward Danny Welbeck for several months after he underwent surgery on a knee problem.
The 24-year-old, signed from Manchester United on deadline day in September 2014, last played for the Gunners in April, missing both the FA Cup final and end-of-season internationals.
Despite hopes Welbeck would be able to recover from bone bruising around the knee, Arsenal announced in a statement on Thursday the player had needed an operation and was now set for an extended spell of rehabilitation.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had hoped the forward would be available soon after the international break. However, following an increased training schedule, it was decided surgery would be needed. A statement from Arsenal read: “Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery on his left knee after being unable to sufficiently step up his rehabilitation work.”
With the decision to operate having come last week, there would have still been time for Arsenal to move in the transfer window to bolster the attacking options. Arsenal had long been linked with a move for first Karim Benzema at Real Madrid and then Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani from Paris St Germain. However, the deadline passed with no further additions to Wenger’s squad apart from veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech, who arrived earlier in the summer from Chelsea.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in the left fibula and could be back in contention when domestic action resumes at home to Stoke on September 12.
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