By Tom Blackburn

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck could return to first-team action three months sooner than expected in a boost to the team’s striker problems.

The England international was initially ruled out by Wenger for almost a year when he injured his knee in a 2-2 draw with Man City in May.

However, boss Arsene Wenger has revealed the striker will be back around Christmas, rather than April as first thought.

“If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April. The news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas,” Wenger said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“That was the good news of last week, the only good news. That was very positive.”

The club have had a shocking run of injuries, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel injured in pre-season and Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi coming off in their 4-3 Premier League defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.

They started that game with Alexis Sanchez leading the line, with their main striker Olivier Giroud still working his way to full fitness after a delayed pre-season.

The French striker was given an extended summer break after helping his country reach the final of Euro 2016, where they lost to Portugal.

Arsenal have been linked with a whole host of strikers this summer, and thought they had persuaded Jamie Vardy to sign before he decided to continue his career at Leicester.

The Daily Star claimed last week that they were set to make a £30million bid for Man City striker Wilfried Bony.

Bony only joined City for £28million from Swansea in January 2015 but has notched just six Premier League goals in that time and found it difficult to make the starting line-up, where his path has been blocked by Sergio Aguero.

Another major pursuit has been for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette but they had a bid of £29.5million rejected by the Ligue 1 giants for him, while they also missed out on the signing of Gonzalo Higuaín.

In other Arsenal team news, a manager says his experienced international defender could move to the Gunners if they find a replacement.