- Welback lasted just 45 minutes in Arsenal’s loss to Koln in the Europa League
- Wenger insists that it was planned and there is no new injury problem
- Arsenal have a busy fixture list coming up, depth will be tested
- READ MORE: Arsenal news: Jack Wilshere offers key update on future
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck lasted only 45 minutes on Thursday night, but Arsene Wenger has allayed any injury fears by insisting it was planned.
The 26-year-old has been limited to just eight appearances in all competitions so far this season, as he continues to be blighted by fitness problems.
Having returned this week to get 45 minutes under his belt, the decision to replace him at half-time in the Europa League clash with FC Koln on Thursday night would have raised eyebrows, but Wenger as downplayed any suggestions that Welbeck suffered a setback.
As seen in the tweet below from freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery, the Arsenal boss confirmed that the England international was always going to play 45 minutes and come off with a view of being a key figure in a packed fixture schedule coming up.
The Gunners play Burnley, Huddersfield and Man Utd in the space of a week starting from Sunday, and so Wenger could undoubtedly do with having as close to a full-strength squad at his disposal as possible.
While the attacking trident of Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil should arguably be the preferred option when all fit, they’ll need to rotate and keep everyone fresh and that’s where Welbeck comes into the picture.
Wenger calms Welback injury fears: “It was planned that he would only play 45 mins,” he said. “He has only just come back from injury, and we have more games on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday again. He has no problem.” #AFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) November 23, 2017