Danny Welbeck

Welbeck discusses overcoming last injury with Arsenal

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Danny Welbeck knew something wasn’t right as soon as the Arsenal medical staff ran onto the field and mobilized his leg. Back on November 8, 2018 in a UEFA Europa League match at Sporting Lisbon, an ankle twist on the field turned into a broken ankle.

Two operations later after time in a hospital in Lisbon and England, and Welbeck’s season was over.

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It was the latest in a career filled with way too many serious injuries, and it meant that with Welbeck’s contract running out, his time at Arsenal was effectively over, at least in terms of playing on the field. Welbeck recovered enough to make the bench for the Europa League final, and he’s finally seeing the field again with his new side Watford. In an interview with the club’s website, Welbeck finally revealed his feelings after that serious ankle injury.

“My last game for Arsenal was against Sporting last November, and that’s when I injured my ankle. It wasn’t nice at all,” Welbeck said on Watford’s website. “The physio ran on and he was grabbing my leg, and I just knew from that moment I had done something that wasn’t going to just keep me out for a couple of weeks. Having already come back from some pretty serious injuries, it was so hard.

“I remember getting in that dressing room and you don’t want to know what I was saying. The staff were great with me and the players came and supported me. My family and friends came to the hospital that night but once everyone was gone and I was in that hospital room on my own I just had a little cry to myself, letting my emotions out.

“But the next day I just thought, ‘right it’s happened now and I’ve just got to crack on and try to come back stronger’. It’s so important to let your emotions out first and then crack on.”

Welbeck’s comments are a great reminder that players are humans too. Welbeck has had the unfortunate luck – but also long career – that’s included multiple knee injuries as well as various muscle injuries dating all the way back to his debut in 2008 for Manchester United.

Welbeck had a couple of decent runs after moving to Arsenal, playing 25 games in the 2014-2015 Premier League season and playing 28 games in the 2017-2018 season. But the goals were never there. He still earned call-ups to various England National Team camps, mainly because he was a striker who could pop up with a goal, stretch defenses, and would track back and work hard to defend. But ultimately, a striker needs to score goals, and he wasn’t getting enough of them.

Now, Welbeck has a fresh start with Watford. It will be interesting to see how things change under new coach Quique Sanchez Flores, but Welbeck could still make his first start against his former club, Arsenal. Asked whether it is in the stars for him to score on his first start?

“Someone said the other day that maybe the script is written for me to score my first Watford goal against Arsenal, but the script writers aren’t playing the game so I’m just going to give my best and try to win the game for Watford,” Welbeck said.

Watford sign Danny Welbeck on free transfer

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Danny Welbeck‘s career has stalled in recent seasons due to a string of long-term injuries, but the 28-year-old England international had little trouble in finding work as he signed for Watford on Wednesday.

[ MORE: 2019-20 season preview: Watford ]

After running his contract all the way down at Arsenal, Welbeck spent the last two months as a free agent before agreeing the deal with the Hornets.

Welbeck suffered a broken ankle last November and hasn’t played in a competitive game since then. In 2015-16, Welbeck missed nine months with a serious knee injury. In 2016-17, Welbeck missed nine months with another knee injury.

[ MORE: 3 days to go until new PL season: Will Man City 3-peat? ]

Should Welbeck find a patch of good health and fitness, he could be a real coup of a signing for Watford. His talent is considerable and, all due respect to Watford, a level or two above the players they can typically attract.

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.