COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Danny Welbeck faces a huge battle to regain his place in the Arsenal first team.
The 26-year-old has not played for Arsenal this season and has been out of action for over seven months after picking up a knee injury in the summer.
The striker’s Arsenal career has endured several injury set-backs and he has been unable to string together a lengthy period in the first team under Arsene Wenger.
Welbeck joined the club in a hugely exciting £16 million deal in September 2014 from rivals Manchester United and was tipped to become a great addition for the Gunners.
However, in two years he has made just 36 league appearances and he has not featured for England since March 2016 despite being a bright prospect for some time.
Welbeck is on the road to recovery once more but after such a sustained period on the sidelines, Wenger has added attacking depth to the squad and he now faces a huge battle to break into the side.
Lucas Perez joined in the summer for £17 million and Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all impressed this season.
Olivier Giroud is even struggling to get regular starts for Arsenal this season despite a goal-scoring record of five goals in 12 league and European games and that gives an indication of the battle Welbeck faces.
Welbeck had great pace and was popular because of his work-rate and ability to press the opposition but Iwobi, Walcott, Chamberlain and Sanchez can offer all of those things so Welbeck may be forgotten upon his return.
In other Arsenal news, Granit Xhaka is axed from the best possible XI to face Everton.