Arsenal Injury Update: Wilshere, Welbeck and Coquelin Close to Full Fitness
Since Mohamed Elneny joined the club, I’ve learned a lot of things about him. He’s not only coming to fill the midfield gap (which will send Mathieu Flamini to the bench, hallelujah), he can also solve world hunger, destroy all pests, fight world wars on his own and end terrorism as we know it!
One of the players Elneny will be providing cover for in the team is Francis Coquelin. It was around this period last year the Coq rose in prominence to become a mainstay in the squad. His performances merited it and he got a contract he truly earned for his contributions to the team.
In order not to ‘stifle’ his steep progress, Wenger opted not to sign a new holding midfielder in the summer but it proved to be a wrong move as Coquelin’s ‘replacement’, Mikel Arteta, couldn’t be banked upon to remain fit causing the manager to use a Flamini that was close to his Arsenal exit and an inexperienced Calum Chambers that is still rough at the edges.
Coquelin got on the end of a poor challenge from West Brom’s Claudio Yacob and injured a ligament in his knee. The diagnosis was that the Coq was going to be out for three months so his expected return was around mid-February. However, the boss has come out to say that the lad is ‘running’ and he’s close to full fitness.
Was he motivated to get fit quickly before of Elneny’s imminent arrival?
Elsewhere, the boss has confirmed that Arsenal’s injury-prone English contingent, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck, are also close to full fitness. It’s not like I’m doubting the boss or anything but Wilshere is one player I don’t trust to stay fit.
When I think that game against Barcelona in 2011 when Wilshere was beasting a midfield that had Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, I feel so sad for the lad because his massive potential has never been realized because he just can’t stay fit. He’s one player that offers a different skill set to what we have at the club (maybe Tomas Rosicky’s play is somewhat similar) but there are many times injuries have been the sole reason Wilshere’s services have been unavailable for his team.
Then there’s Danny Welbeck. That lad stills divides opinions following his 16m move from Manchester United last season. He scored eight goals in his debut campaign and they were some important goals (think West Ham, West Brom and Manchester United) but there were the Emmanuel Adebayor-esque misses. Welbeck has been injured since April and had a surgery around August. It’s fair to say that he hasn’t kicked the ball this season, so when the manager says that he’s close to full fitness, you’d have to keep your fingers crossed.
Having Wilshere, Welbeck and Coquelin fit again will be a big plus. These lads offer the manager a chance to rotate his squad as the Gunners are challenging for silverware on three fronts. They’re in the fourth round of their favorite competition, currently topping the Premier League and they have a daunting fixture against Barcelona next month.
I will keep you updated as the days go by