Unai Emery has suggested he may not sign another striker in January and could hand teenager Eddie Nketiah a chance to shine. Danny Welbeck suffered a serious ankle injury and was carried off on a stretcher after half an hour of the Gunners’ 0-0 Europa League draw at home to Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.
The club confirmed on Friday that the England international had suffered a “significant right ankle injury” although no timescale has been placed on a return as of yet.
While Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been Emery’s go-to forwards in the Premier League, Welbeck had been playing an important role in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
Meanwhile, Nketiah has yet to feature for Arsenal under Emery having been set to come on against Sporting before an injury to defender Stephan Lichtsteiner meant the Spaniard had to have a rethink.
Nketiah, 19, burst on to the scene last season as he scored two goals as a substitute on his senior debut in a Carabao Cup win over Norwich – the first of which just 15 seconds after he came off the bench.
Asked if Arsenal would now have to look to bring in a striker in January following Welbeck’s injury, Emery opened the door to the England Under-21 international.
“The first thing is to look inside,” he said. “We have a striker who is working well in the under-23s and improving also – Eddie Nketiah. He can have chances but I think it’s early to speak about the possibility of January.”