After two serious knee injuries in two seasons, it has been a long road back to full fitness for Danny Welbeck - but he could be in line to start at Southampton on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger is expected to rotate his side for the Emirates FA Cup fourth-round clash at St Mary’s, and the England international is very much in his thoughts.
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“He has a chance to start or to come on, yes,” Wenger said. “He looks sharp, he’s worked very hard. Maybe it will be an opportunity for him.
“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.
“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.”
Wenger says Welbeck’s fresh legs could prove an asset in the second half of the season, but stressed the importance of using his forwards at the right time.
“If he manages to get there [to full fitness] quickly, yes,” the manager said. “The players who played the most in our team offensively is basically Alexis.
“All the others - Giroud has not played too many games, he is fresh, Walcott is now coming back from a good breather, we have Lucas 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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