Unai Emery confirm Eddie Nketiah will fill in for injured Danny Welbeck

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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