Arsenal will not be offering a new contract to Danny Welbeck meaning he has already played his last game for the club after suffering a severe ankle injury.
Arsenal are set to lose several key players when the season ends in a week with Aaron Ramsey leading the pack. Sky Sports has confirmed the news of Danny Welbeck’s impending departure from the club after Arsenal decided not to renew his contract beyond the coming summer.
Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus on a free transfer was all but confirmed at the end of January, after a prolonged saga involving the club and player, which ended when Arsenal withdrew their initial offer for the Welshman. Joining him in leaving the club when the season ends are stars such as Petr Cech who is set to retire while the news of Welbeck’s departure will come as no surprise.
Welbeck was in good form when the season began and offered Emery’s side with a forward option beyond Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The former Manchester United striker was regularly playing games for the club under new management in the league while he was a regular starter in cup competitions and the Europa League.
There were whispers earlier in the season when the Ramsey saga was in full swing that Arsenal might let Danny Welbeck leave as well, and the season-ending ankle injury seems to have played a vital role in making that decision. He was in good form before the injury, scoring 5 goals with a single assist to his name in all competitions.
As far as his Arsenal career goes, he was somewhat of a regular under previous manager Arsene Wenger, while Emery also valued him as a valuable squad player. Overall he ends his Gunners tenure with 126 appearances and 32 goals to his name. With Manchester United, he had two Premier League and a solitary Champions League medal.
This is a player who has immense experience in the Premier League as well as European competitions, and he would not be short of suitors. Last summer there was tremendous interest in Welbeck with Southampton the closest to making a deal with Arsenal.
It certainly is a blow for Arsenal losing a striker in his prime, who has proved his worth, especially in the way Emery likes his team to play. It is too early to suggest if it could be a loss for Arsenal, but yes it is a blow to lose him on a free transfer, whereas extending his deal could have guaranteed the club a certain transfer fee.
Arsenal will be working on a limited transfer budget for the summer and have to deal with the threat of Barcelona who are targeting Alexandre Lacazette for a summer move. The Gunners will definitely find it challenging to buy a replacement forward of similar quality for the money they have.
Will letting Welbeck go on a free come back to bite Arsenal when the next season gets underway is a question that will be answered in due time, but it certainly is bad news for the club and Emery to see a player in his prime leave in addition to Aaron Ramsey.