Arsenal Boss Reveals Why Ozil Was Taken Off + Confirms ‘Big Injury’ To Gunners Star
Unai Emery has revealed why Mesut Ozil was taken off against Wolves and confirmed Danny Welbeck is facing an extended spell on the sidelines
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed why Mesut Ozil was taken off against Wolves and confirmed Danny Welbeck is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a broken ankle.
Ozil had a disappointing game during Arsenal’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Wolves at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon and the German playmaker was replaced by Aaron Ramsey with 15 minutes remaining as we searched for an equaliser.
With Wolves leading 1-0, Emery made a double substitution with Sead Kolasinac also coming off with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming on and Granit Xhaka moving to left-back, and the boss has revealed he made the tactical switch to try and get two attacking midfielders on the pitch during the closing stages of the game.
It worked as Mkhitaryan ended up scoring a rather fortunate 86th minute goal to snatch a point and extend our unbeaten record to 16 games in all competitions but questions were still asked over why Ozil was substituted given his importance to our attacking play.
The boss also gave an update on Welbeck after he required lengthy treatment during Arsenal’s 0-0 Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon last Thursday after falling awkwardly while challenging for a routine header midway through the first half.
The striker was stretchered off with his leg in a protective boot and was immediately taken to hospital to have the injury assessed amid fears he’d suffered a broken ankle. Emery refused to speculate on the severity of the injury in his post-match interview after the Sporting Lisbon game as he wanted to wait until the player had been fully assessed before making any official comment.
However, the bad news was confirmed yesterday as Emery revealed that Welbeck has indeed broken his ankle and underwent an operation on Friday. The boss says it’s a ‘big injury’ but was reluctant to put a timescale on his recovery.
Speaking after Arsenal’s fortunate 1-1 draw with Wolves on Sunday, Emery told Arsenal.com:
on taking off Mesut Ozil and an update on Danny Welbeck…
I decided that we had two players on the bench like Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, attacking players. I wanted two attacking midfielders, so I made the change for this reason. Danny Welbeck’s injury is a big injury. We spoke with him yesterday and today. We support him with our personal relationship between the player and the staff.
on whether it’s a broken ankle…
Yeah. He had an operation on Friday.
on whether we’re likely to see him again this season…
I think it’s better for the doctor to say to you. It’s a big injury but the outcome… the doctor can answer that better than me.
We’ll have to wait and see how Welbeck’s rehabilitation goes over the coming months but the striker is facing a race against time to get himself fit to play again this season. This comes as a huge blow to Arsenal as Danny had started the season well having scored 5 goals in his 13 appearances and Emery will certainly miss him as Welbeck is a very useful player to have around the squad.
But my thoughts must go out to the 27-year-old as his career at Arsenal has been plagued by serious injury problems since he joined the club from Manchester United in 2014 with the forward undergoing two other major knee operations in recent years.
With his contract due to expire in June 2019 and Welbeck facing several months on the sidelines, there is a chance we may have seen him play his last game in an Arsenal shirt.
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