Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted nobody is to blame for the serious knee injury suffered by Danny Welbeck during the weekend draw against Manchester City. The French boss admitted he had been cautious about using the former Manchester United forward following his previous problems, but added that this blow was just an unlucky accident.
The England international was forced off during the first half of the game at the Etihad Stadium after hurting his right knee tackling City defender Bacary Sagna. The Gunners confirmed fan fears on Wednesday by revealing that the former United star had undergone surgery and could be out of action until February 2017 – missing Euro 2016 as well as a big part of the upcoming campaign.
Welbeck himself quickly promised Arsenal fans that he will come back stronger, while a devastated Wenger has now claimed that the club will give him their full support to help with the recovery.
"We're all devastated, and Danny even more so," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "We can only feel sad and support Danny now in order to get him back. "
"It was basically from an anonymous tackle. The difference between the tackle and the severity of the injury is baffling. We don't understand that but we have to accept the verdict and we have to live with it. Danny has to deal with it unfortunately. We just have to give him the maximum support we can and show him that we trust he can come back."
The 25-year-old forward sustained a problem in his other knee in April 2015 that forced him to miss the last part of that season. The England international was originally expected to return for the pre-season but in September the club revealed he had been forced to undergo surgery due to rehabilitation work during the summer having not progressed as expected.
Welbeck missed the first part of the current campaign and failed to return to action until February. Wenger has since eased the player back into action despite concerns the manager was being too cautious – as the striker proved his readiness on the pitch by scoring 5 goals in 15 appearances.
Wenger, nevertheless, said that there is no one to blame as the striker sustained the injury in a very unlucky accident.
"He scored goals and when he came on he had an impact," said Wenger. "I pushed him in and out of the team because I knew he'd been out for a year. Sometimes for the big games I kept him out to recover from the efforts he has made.
"Sometimes people accused me of being too cautious but I knew that he did not play for a year and the intensity of the Premier League is so exceptional that you have to be cautious. The injury was accidental. I don't think there's anyone to blame, not our opponents or medical staff. It was completely an accident."