Danny Welbeck

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Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.

Herrera, Valencia, Welbeck all released, Mata offered extension

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With the end of the season comes the expiration of contracts, and as Premier League teams begin the offseason and the end of June nears, more and more clubs are working to pin down their rosters and make room for imminent transfer arrivals.

Manchester United announced the release of 15 players on Friday, including captain Antonio Valencia and midfielder Ander Herrera, while Arsenal confirmed the departure of striker Danny Welbeck.

The Red Devils have cleaned house, although most of the departures are youth players who never made an impact on the first team squad. The most notable names are Valencia and Herrera, with the former ending a 10-year career at Old Trafford that saw the Ecuadorian international rack up 339 appearances and score 25 goals while assisting 62 more. Valencia hoisted two Premier League championship trophies and won domestic cup competitions three times, also winning the Europa League once.

At 33 years old, Valencia made just six Premier League appearances for the club this past season, and his time at Old Trafford was clearly coming to an end. It will be interesting to see where Valencia lands should he decide to continue playing.

Herrera, meanwhile, is leaving Manchester United still in the prime of his career. At 29 years old, Herrera made 28 appearances last season and was an integral part of the Red Devils midfield. Still, with his contract expiring and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaving Herrera out of the squad a number of times down the stretch, the Red Devils decided not to extend the Spaniard and he moves on from the club after five years at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata was not on the released list despite his contract ending this summer, instead appearing on the retained list, and reports in England indicate that he has been offered a new contract which the club is hopeful he will sign. At 31 years old, Mata has been with the Red Devils since joining from Chelsea in 2014, and while he was not a regular starter for the club this season, he is still an important squad player racking up over 1,700 minutes across all competitions.

Welbeck sees a five-year Arsenal career come to a close as he departs the Emirates on the expiration of his contract. The 28-year-old England international made 126 appearances for the Gunners but was hampered by consistent injury problems, with his knee, ankle, hip, and groin all troubling him at some stage or another. He began this season as a consistent option off the bench for Unai Emery but suffered a broken ankle in early November and never returned to action. Still in the prime of his career, Welbeck could be an important free transfer for a club that is willing to take the risk brought on by his injury history, and if he can find some luck and stay healthy, he could still have an impact wherever he should land.

Arsenal’s Welbeck undergoes two surgeries in one week

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Arsenal has announced that Danny Welbeck is out for an indefinite period of time following not one but two surgeries.

Welbeck, 27, was stretchered off the pitch with a nasty-looking ankle injury on Thursday in the Europa League.

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And Arsenal said that Welbeck underwent a second pre-planned surgery to go along with the corrective surgery from Thursday’s incident.

Both procedures went well, without complications. Danny will now recuperate and start his rehabilitation. It’s too early to say how long this will take.

The 42-times capped England man had a FaceTime call with his Arsenal teammates prior to Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.

Welbeck has 69 goals in 304 career games between Arsenal, Manchester United, Preston North End, and Sunderland.

His injury leaves little striker depth behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, though Alex Iwobi could certainly manage some work there. Youngster Emile Smith-Rowe has performed well in limited action, and Edward Nketiah is also an intriguing youth talent.

Arsenal advances to Europa League knockout rounds

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Arsenal’s dull 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon was enough to earn a spot in the Europa League knockout rounds, though the Gunners have two fresh injury concerns including a potentially serious ankle ailment for Danny Welbeck.

[ MORE: Chelsea beats BATE ]

The 87th minute saw Sporting’s Jeremy Mathieu pick up a red card for denial of a goal scoring opportunity for a takedown of Aubameyang following a poor back pass.

Qarabag’s 1-0 win at Vorskla Poltava means Arsenal has clinched a berth in the Europa League knockout rounds. Premier League mates Chelsea clinched earlier in the day.

The match cost Arsenal a pair of players, with Danny Welbeck and Stephane Lichtsteiner lifted before the end of the match.

Welbeck’s first half injury was especially distressing, the Arsenal and England striker stretchered off with teammates visibly concerned for the 27-year-old.

Aside from being forced to use Aubameyang in the 30th minute, Unai Emery‘s plan to have some regulars fresh for Sunday’s visit from Wolves went well.

Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal and Alexandre Lacazette were not in the 18, while Lucas Torreira and Shkrodan Mustafi were unused subs.

Arsenal striker Welbeck stretchered off in Europa League

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England and Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck was stretchered off the field with a brace on his right leg.

The serious-looking leg injury cut his day short after less than a half hour of Arsenal’s Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops BATE ]

Welbeck was hurt in a bid to head a Stephane Lichtsteiner cross on goal, and a few of his teammates were visibly shaken in monitoring his treatment.

The 42-times capped England man was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a lengthy delay in London.

Welbeck was called up for the Three Lions’ matches against the United States and Croatia next week, but it would be surprising if the striker was available to Gareth Southgate.