Latest Welbeck blow will force Wenger’s hand this summer
This season hasn’t even finished and already Arsene Wenger must prepare for next term without one of his recognised strikers, following the news Danny Welbeck has underdone knee surgery.
The England international is now expected to be out of action until February next year, and the news may just spark Wenger to be extra busy in the transfer window.
Reports have been quick to link strikers who may step into Welbeck’s shoes, with Marseille ace Michy Batshuayi, Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juventus star Alvaro Morata all featuring at the top of this week’s press.
Of the trio, it’s Batshuayi who seems most likely to plump for a taste of Premier League football.
The 22-year-old has scored 22 and set up 10 for the French side this term, but for all his talents, has seen Marseille languish in mid-table this season.
The Belgian is valued at around £10m, and would certainly be the cheapest of the three Arsenal targets, though interest from West Ham could ramp that price skywards.
Dortmund man Mkhitaryan is very much an attacking midfielder as opposed to a striker, but with a stunning 20 assists and 11 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances this term, it’s easy to see the appeal from Arsenal’s perspective.
The Armenian’s total figures this year read a staggering 32 assists and 23 goals from 51 games, and it’s not unreasonable to expect Wenger to fork out over £30m for the 27-year-old.
And then there’s Morata, perhaps the most versatile and Welbeck-esque of the three.
At 23 his best years are very much ahead of him, but as part of an all-conquering Juventus team, would he see a move to Arsenal as a step down?
With a contract running until 2020 with the Old Lady, Wenger again is going to have get the credit card out to the tune of £40m or more.
It’s unlikely to think Arsenal won’t suffer if they don’t replace Welbeck, and they’ll have learnt as much from his similar absence this season, but if the Gunners do splash out on a replacement, who do you think they’ll go for?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.