Arsenal manager Unai Emery is prepared to give Eddie Nketiah the chance to fill the void left by Danny Welbeck’s injury rather than enter the January transfer market.
Welbeck suffered a “serious” ankle injury in Arsenal’s 0-0 Europa League draw with Sporting on Thursday and is still being assessed amid fears he could miss the remainder of the season.
In Welbeck’s absence, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are Emery’s only senior centre-forwards whilst the England international also provided a valuable option on the flanks.
But with transfer funds squeezed and value hard to find in the mid-season window, Emery has suggested his first preference will be to offer further opportunities to Nketiah, who has made the first-team squad in both the EFL Cup and Europa League but yet to play a minute of senior football this season.
“[Our] first [step] is to look inside, we have one striker who is working well in the Under-23s and improving also in Eddie Nketiah,” he said. “He can have chances.
“It’s early to speak about the possibility of [signings in] January.”
Arsenal have been monitoring several players who could serve as Welbeck replacements either in January or the summer, when the 27-year-old’s contract is due to expire, including Cristian Pavon of Boca Juniors and Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.
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