Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck was taken to hospital on Thursday night after suffering a “serious injury” in the club’s Europa League draw with Sporting, his manager Unai Emery said.
Welbeck had made a bright start to the European game but landed awkwardly midway through the first-half after tangling with Sporting defender Bruno Gaspar.
The England international immediately looked in real discomfort, writhing around on the turf clutching his ankle as his team-mates waved Arsenal’s medical team onto the pitch.
As he was receiving treatment Welbeck was consoled by former Manchester United team-mate Nani, as Mattéo Guendouzi watched on through splayed fingers.
“It’s the worst news. We think it’s a serious injury,” Emery said after the game after confirming that Welbeck had been taken to hospital.
“He was working well and having a good match, but when you are playing in competitive matches big injuries can happen. We didn’t want for this to happen but that is the game.”
If Welbeck has dislocated his ankle as feared, he will likely be ruled out for the rest of the season, with his current Arsenal contract set to expire in the summer. However Emery dodged a question on the player’s immediate future.
“The best for him is now to think for the person,” Emery said.
“He is a very good person. He is committed every day and helps us with his behaviour and quality and capacity and this is very big injury for him, for us for all, for people who love him like a person.”
England manager Gareth Southgate included Welbeck in his squad for next Thursday’s friendly with the United States and a Nations League tie against Croatia three days later at Wembley.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil took to Twitter soon after the incident to wish his team mate well, saying: “Oh no … get well soon Danny.”