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‘Give injured Welbeck a new contract’

As striker vows to ‘come back stronger than ever before’ after suffering broken ankle, former Gunners midfielder Perry Groves calls on club to extend his deal

15 November, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Danny Welbeck fell awkwardly during the goalless Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon

ARSENAL striker Danny Welbeck has vowed to come “back stronger than ever before” after undergoing surgery twice in four days on his broken right ankle.

The 27-year-old suffered the third major injury of his career after falling awkwardly during the goalless Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon last Thursday. It’s a bitter blow for a player who has already spent two lengthy spells on the sidelines with knee injuries.

Speaking after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Wolves at the Emirates Stadium, Gunners gaffer Unai Emery said Welbeck faces “a long time” out of action as he starts his rehabilitation, with a club statement adding on Monday that the forward “will be provided with the best possible treatment and support in order to make him fit again as soon as possible”.

Welbeck offered his own update on Tuesday when he posted on Instagram: “Back home. Thanks for all the love and support. No doubt I will be back stronger than ever before. Recovery grind starts now.”

In a touching gesture, Arsenal goalie Bernd Leno revealed that Emery arranged a FaceTime session between Welbeck and the rest of the Arsenal squad prior to Sunday’s Premier League game.

“I think he was happy to talk to us because he is still a big part of our team and we will all support him when he is injured,” Leno explained.

Prior to his injury, Welbeck had gradually been getting more game time, scoring five goals in 16 appearances in all competitions. Now, however, it remains to be seen whether or not fans will see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

Welbeck’s current contract expires at the end of season, and there had been little talk of a new deal on the horizon.

One former player, however, is calling on his old club to make “a magnificent gesture” and offer Welbeck a contract extension immediately.

In an interview with talkSPORT, ex-Gunners midfielder Perry Groves said: “I think Arsenal should come out now and say they’re going to give him a contract extension.

“It would just take all the uncertainly away and that would help his rehab on the mental side of it. He’s a wealthy boy now, it’s nothing to do with that, but for his mental well-being.”

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