'What happened to him was unbelievable' – Wenger praises fearless Welbeck

The Arsenal manager admits the England international “lacks a fraction of zip” but has not looked scared since recovering from his latest injury

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised Danny Welbeck for showing no fear on his return from a knee injury, as he prepares for a possible start against Southampton.

Welbeck, 26, hurt his knee in May last year and needed surgery, before making his competitive return in January.

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The England international could start in the FA Cup on Saturday and Wenger lauded him for his approach on his comeback.

“He has a chance to start or to come on, yes. He looks sharp, he’s worked very hard. Maybe it will be an opportunity for him,” he said.

“At his age and in his position he was sure to go to the European Championship. What happened to him was unbelievable and he was down for a while, but now he looks to have recovered.

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“In training he still lacks a fraction of zip when he starts [moving]. But overall he looks quite fit.

“What is the most important is that he doesn’t look scared. That’s the biggest hurdle when you come back.”

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Wenger’s team are second in the Premier League, eight points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.

But the Frenchman said Welbeck was among his options in attack to help Arsenal finish the season strongly and push their rivals.

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“The player who played the most in our team offensively is basically Alexis [Sanchez].

“All the others – [Olivier] Giroud has not played too many games, he is fresh. [Theo] Walcott is now coming back from a good breather, we have Lucas [Perez] who has not played many games.

“We have plenty of offensive potential who are fresh. It’s now down to me to use them at the right moment when they are in good form and in the right way.”

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