“We’re all devastated, and Danny even more so – we can only feel sad and support Danny now in order to get him back.
“Danny has to deal with it unfortunately. We just have to give him the maximum support we can and show him that we trust he can come back.”
The official medical report for Danny Welbeck’s crushing injury identified ‘significant cartilage damage’, with a full recovery expected to take ‘approximately nine months’.
Danny Welbeck’s football future hinges on that key word: ‘approximately’.
Yes – there is every chance that the England striker may yet experience a speedy recovery and return to first team football sooner than anticipated, but Arsenal’s medical track record suggests that those nine months should be considered a minimum sentence.
Importantly, this period of time is noted as Welbeck’s recovery time, not necessarily when he’ll be back in action… therein lies the issue.
The process for a player returning to match fitness is always longer than most expect. When a player is out injured for a long time – say nine months – it’s necessary to factor the length of time it takes to get fit again, then match fit, then find his touch and form having not played for so long. This cumulative effect quickly adds up and before long, a one year absence can stretch over the course of two years.
Considering that nine months from today, a rapid Welbeck return would take place in February 2017, the same point in the season that the England striker returned in dramatic fashion this year. Add on however long it takes to get back to 100%, particularly after consecutive long term injuries and there’s no way for Arsene Wenger to escape the ultimatum – it’s a significant amount of time to be without a player who would have otherwise played a major role in next season’s squad.
Goal Welbz 2-1 pic.twitter.com/Askqu9VcNX
— Touchofozil (@Touchofozil) February 14, 2016
The injury is devastating for Welbeck. The England international missed the majority of this season, returning in mid-February only to tragically get injured again in May. Timing and circumstance play a major role in a player’s career, and unfortunately by the time Welbeck gets back in 1-2 years time, Arsenal will have continued to develop their squad (if they’re to stand a chance of winning the Premier League). This natural footballing progression may prove problematic for Welbeck, to the extent that establishing a place as a first team regular, or even developing to fulfil his potential, will become far more difficult.
It’s hard to feel anything other than sympathy for Danny Welbeck. It goes without saying that he’ll miss his opportunity to represent England at the forthcoming European Championships and given the likely complications in his recovery process, the forward may face a situation where the injuries have a long-lasting effect on his Arsenal career.