Sunday 25 February 2018

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal will be 'cautious' with Danny Welbeck despite stellar return to action

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck was very impressive on Saturday
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck was very impressive on Saturday

Ian Baker

Arsene Wenger will not overload Danny Welbeck despite his return to form and fitness. The Arsenal striker made his first start of the campaign when he scored twice in the FA Cup in a 5-0 victory at Southampton on Saturday following a cartilage injury.

But manager Wenger knows he needs to manage Welbeck’s workload to prevent any further injury problems.

“Danny’s very sharp but we’re still not out of it completely,” he said. “We still have to be cautious with him.

“Where I agree is that physically he is ready to play. We still have to manage the times we use him and the times we rest him for a while.

“We will do that in the next month and then after, hopefully he will be completely fit.

“To come out of what he has come through, you need to be mentally strong. To play like he played on Saturday, you need to work hard physically.

“That’s not a gift of God. You have to go through all kind of suffering to come back to that level of fitness.

“Of course he has done enough to keep his place but at the moment we have to be cautious with him. I’m not sure how we’ll use him every three days. I think he’s a bit short for that. But the quality of the performance was there.”

Arsenal have numerous options in attack with Theo Walcott, Lucas Perez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez all competing for attacking spots.

“We have scored many goals since the start of the season and Danny was not there,” said Wenger. “To add him to the squad as well gives us huge offensive potential.

“Now I have to use the strikers well, in the right moment and without destroying the balance of the team. Offensively, we have many players who can produce and score.”

Meanwhile Wenger has not completely closed the door on Carl Jenkinson leaving the club in the next couple of days but the change of a switch to Crystal Palace are diminishing fast.

“There’s no news about him at all,” said the Frenchman.

“We are still open because we have many players in his position, but at the moment it doesn’t look like something will happen.

“We respect any professional decision. Carl Jenkinson is a great player who has a great attitude. There is no problem on that front. After that, he must find happiness with his conditions and where he goes and feel comfortable.

“The window’s been very quiet. On our front, we have a big squad. We are not in need of buying. On a general front it has been very quiet. That shows that there are not many players available who can strengthen English teams. It also shows that all the teams in England, especially the big teams, have big squads. That’s why not a lot happened.”

Independent News Service

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