Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been advised to sign out-of-favour Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck as a replacement for the injured Olivier Giroud, as fears swell over the extent of the French international's ankle injury.

Giroud came off after scoring the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Everton last weekend and though Wenger has refrained from confirming the injury suffered by the forward, reports are suggesting the 27 year old will be out until the end of the year.

The injury lay-off is expected to prompt Wenger into delving into the transfer market to seek a replacement for his leading forward, with Welbeck – who has been told he can leave United this summer – among the reported candidates.

And former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has endorsed those reports, which value Welbeck at £16m, and says the Gunners should consider a move for the England international before the window shuts next week.

"If Giroud is going to be out for two or three months then you'd want Wenger to go in to the transfer market and get somebody else" said Smith.

"I think he would make an excellent signing for somebody, he's had unfair criticism over the last couple of years really, he's been playing out of position at United and shunted around the park.

"Yes, his finishing hasn't been up to scratch at times but that comes from not playing in your regular position regularly. I think if he was given an extended spell through the middle where he likes it you would see a really top player develop. I would love to see him at Arsenal.

"Danny Welbeck's got most attributes. Olivier Giroud is a very good target man and is a very good header of the ball, and he'll get you 20+ goals, so that's not to be sniffed at, but Danny is different. He's very good technically as he's shown with England and he is a bit quicker.

"He'd probably make a very good partner for Giroud but Arsene Wenger isn't overly keen on playing two up top."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has already ruled out a move for Welbeck, who started United's 4-0 League Cup second round defeat to Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday.

Arsenal meanwhile have been linked with the likes of Queens Park Rangers' Loic Remy and Allesio Cerci of Torino but Wenger's cautious approach in the transfer window, which has only seen the addition of four signficant players this summer, could lead to a quiet end to the month.

Smith added: "It's going to be interesting with not long left in the transfer window.

"We've seen with Liverpool and the signing of Mario Balotelli that there's an element of desperation there – there's not too many forwards available and as the clock ticks down there's a danger that you get somebody that you don't actually want, or is not ideal.

"Wenger is notoriously cautious over these things anyway but he may mind that his hand is forced if Giroud is going to be out for some time."