By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Danny Welbeck has been ruled out by Arsenal until 2016 after undergoing knee surgery.
Arsene Wenger confirmed at his media briefing on Thursday morning that Welbeck will be sidelined “certainly until Christmas” as he delivered an update on the striker’s situation.
Football Insider revealed last week that Welbeck would be sidelined for four to six months after failing to recover from a cartilage problem that has sidelined him since April.
During the international break, England manager Roy Hodgson claimed Welbeck would be out for six months and his pessimistic prognosis has been confirmed by Wenger.
Asked how long the former Manchester United striker would be sidelined for, Wenger replied: “Certainly until Christmas”.
Football Insider first revealed a fortnight ago that the £16million signing from Manchester United had suffered a setback and would be out for months rather than weeks.
Wenger explained why he had not bought a new striker during the final days of the summer window despite knowing the extent of the Welbeck injury.
He said: “Look at what happened on the transfer market and it tells you there is a shortage out there. The solutions we had were not convincing at all.
“We have [Alexis] Sanchez, [Olivier] Giroud and [Theo] Walcott. We have quality and can score goals.”
Welbeck’s’s last game was Arsenal’s goal-less draw against Chelsea on 26 April. He had hoped to return before the end of last season, and then targeted a return in pre-season, but he has suffered multiple set-backs.