Are Danny Welbeck’s days numbered at Arsenal?

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck could have an uncertain future at the Emirates after an underwhelming stint with the Gunners. Unai Emery has recently been appointed head coach, replacing long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, and may not have a place for the 27-year-old in his squad.

Welbeck has struggled for consistency and might struggle for playing time given the calibre of his attacking teammates in the squad. He has a fresh slate under Emery but will need to contribute way more on the pitch than he did under Wenger to stand a chance of extending his stay past 2019.

Injuries have limited his playing time

Welbeck has picked up a lot of injuries during his time at Arsenal. The English international joined the Gunners from Manchester United in 2014 and has gone on to make 112 appearances in all competitions, but he could have made many more had he not struggled for fitness.

The 27-year-old has started just 45 Premier League games from a possible 152 for the London outfit, averaging only 11-per-season since the 2014-move. In his debut campaign, Welbeck suffered a knee injury in May 2015 which kept him out of action until February 2016.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey

He picked up another serious injury in the final game his second season at Arsenal that kept him out until January 2017. Welbeck managed to see the campaign out without a reoccurrence until a hip and groin injury in September sidelined him for two months.

Despite being at Arsenal for four years, supporters haven’t seen a lot of him as a result of injuries, so can he be trusted over an entire campaign in the future?

Lack of goals and assists at Arsenal

Injuries have been a problem, but Welbeck’s lack of output is another. The former United forward has scored and created 41 goals in the last four years, while never scoring more than five league goals in a season for Arsenal.

In his entire career, Welbeck has never managed to hit double figures in the league which is a worry considering he’s playing for the Gunners. To have scored 27 times in 112 games isn’t prolific enough to play for a side challenging for the title, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League next season.

He’s industrious and selfless on the pitch, but Emery needs his forwards to contribute in the final third. Welbeck doesn’t do that.

Stiff competition in the squad

And if the Englishman is struggling for form, he’s likely to find himself out of the starting eleven, especially with Arsenal’s impressive array of attacking talent.

Emery will inherit a side containing Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan, all of whom are expected to start next season. There may not be a place for Welbeck as a result.

Where could Welbeck go?

The Arsenal forward is reportedly a target for Besiktas. His deal has just one year to run, so the Gunners have a choice to make whether to cash in on him now, or risk losing him for nothing next summer.

It’s hard to see Welbeck getting his deal renewed given his lack of output in the last four years, but offers aren’t flooding in. He won’t go down as a good overall signing but won’t be deemed a flop either.

Welbeck has had bad luck at Arsenal, and with Wenger bolstering the club’s attacking options with Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan in the last two transfer windows, ultimately he isn’t good enough anymore.

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Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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