Sunday, 29 January 2017

Arsene Wenger feared Danny Welbeck would lose sharpness after injuries

Arsene Wenger feared he may never have seen the best of Danny Welbeck again after the Arsenal striker suffered two serious knee injuries in 20 months.

Welbeck returned to Arsenal’s starting XI in style on Saturday, scoring two in the first 22 minutes to set his side on course for a 5-0 win where Theo Walcott added a hat-trick.

The 26-year-old only returned to Arsenal training last month after a second major surgery on his knees, the latter to fix cartilage damage in his right leg, and had played just 21 minutes across three substitute appearances prior to the FA Cup fourth round tie.

Wenger noted that Welbeck’s willingness to keep fighting after two major setbacks, the latter of which ruled him out of Euro 2016, had earned him the respect of his Arsenal team-mates, who delighted in his brace.

“You do wonder,” Wenger said when asked whether he feared Welbeck may never be the same player.

“I wondered first of all would he be solid enough mentally to cope with that.

“Then secondly you hope he will go well after he comes back after the second surgery.

“He worked very hard, he went through some moments of very deep disappointment. 

Because when he had the setback and he had to go in again, as a professional player that's very difficult.

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