Danny Welbeck is closing in on Arsenal return after nine months out
Comeback kid: Welbeck has been in lively form

By Will Butcher

Tony Cottee has claimed that Danny Welbeck will struggle to make Arsenal’s first team when he returns from injury.

Manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Arsenal’s official website that the 26-year-old striker is a week away from returning to training, after being ruled out since May with a knee injury.

Speaking on Sky Sports News Premier League Daily Show on Friday, Sky Sports pundit Cottee believes the England international has a huge fight on his hands to return to Wenger’s first team.

“It has been difficult for him,” Cottee said. “He’s a good player, still relatively young. But it is difficult to get fit for a player like Welbeck, the only way to do so is to get back into the first team.

“There are too many players ahead of Welbeck. He’s got plenty of energy and enthusiasm, but whether he gets that place back in the first team? I must say I very much doubt it.”

Injury-prone forward Welbeck has failed to feature for the Gunners since the 2-2 draw against Manchester City last season.

The former Manchester United striker was withdrawn in just the 24th minute, and has been sidelined since the long-term injury.

However, after progressing well through rehab, Welbeck is now expected to return to training in the coming days. The fight, though, will not stop there.

Naturally, Arsenal’s number 23 is a centre-forward and is unlikely to earn a place in the side ahead of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez.

Able to play out wide, Welbeck will find competition in the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi.

Only time will tell how Wenger will use Welbeck, as he continues his recovery.

In other Arsenal news, this midfield star has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against Manchester City.