Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck has emerged as a real doubt for Euro 2016 after sustaining a suspected lateral meniscus injury during the Gunners' Premier League visit to Manchester City on Sunday (8 May). The 25-year-old, who underwent surgery on his other knee last year and was sidelined for a total of 10 months before finally returning to action in February, sustained the problem during a tackle on Bacary Sagna during the first half of a lively 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
After receiving treatment from the medical team, Welbeck attempted to carry on but quickly realised that his efforts were futile and walked straight down the tunnel to be replaced by Jack Wilshere. Although not always considered an automatic starter for his country, the Manchester United academy graduate has amassed 35 senior caps during his career to date and also featured for 71 minutes of the 3-2 friendly victory away to Germany in March.
"The first signs look, the medical team told me, [like] it could be his lateral meniscus," manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports after the full-time whistle. "I hope they are wrong, but Danny looks down so he knows. I tried to keep him on the pitch, he tried again to come on but straightaway he moved out. He is not a guy who likes to move out, so I'm a bit worried.
When asked if Welbeck was potentially set to miss the Euros, he added: "I don't want to say that, because that's too hard. Let's be a bit more optimistic and wait for the scan tomorrow."
If such a scan does confirm those fears, then Welbeck would become the second member of Arsenal's English contingent to be ruled out the European Championship finals in just a matter of days. During his pre-match press conference on Friday (6 May), Wenger revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had suffered a fresh knee problem in training. The midfielder had recovered from an initial injury picked up during a Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat to Barcelona in February, but was hurt again while preparing to feature for the U21s.
"We have lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the week because he got a knee injury," the manager confirmed. "He has injured his medial ligament in his right knee and will be out for six to eight weeks I think. Alex was back in full training when he picked up this new injury, which is not linked to his previous knee injuries.
"There's no chance [of him being fit for the Euros]. I had a little conversation with Alex and with our medical team. They told me yesterday that he will be back at the beginning of July. It's bad news. Alex was out for a while and he was not overloaded with games. You want a guy of 22 years of age to go to the European Championship. It's very bad. He's an impact player as well so he could have had a great contribution to England's success. England had quite a few problems up front so I think it's bad news."
Per Mertesacker is also out for Arsenal, who are now virtually guaranteed a 20th consecutive Champions League qualification and could even finish second if they beat relegated Aston Villa on the final day and north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur lose to Newcastle United. The towering centre-back picked up a hamstring injury against Norwich City last weekend, while Mesut Ozil was also absent at City due to what the club have described as a "slight" hip issue.