Welbeck ruled out for nine months

‘Barca higher level than Man Utd’ – Pochettino

Arsenal and England have been dealt a major blow with striker Danny Welbeck set to be out of action for nine months after undergoing knee surgery.

The 25-year-old suffered significant cartilage damage in a seemingly innocuous challenge during the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the weekend – and is now ruled out for England’s Euro 2016 campaign and well beyond.

A statement on the Arsenal website read: “Since returning to action in February after injuring his left knee in May last year, Welbeck’s impact has been telling – scoring five times, including the recent winner against Norwich City at Emirates Stadium.

“Everyone at Arsenal will be working hard with Danny throughout his recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”

Welbeck, who starred for Roy Hodgson’s side during the Euro qualifiers, finishing as top scorer with six goals in five matches, confirmed the news on his official Instagram account, stating: “I will be back stronger!”

I will be back stronger! ??

A photo posted by Danny Welbeck (@dannywelbeck) on

England will also be without his Arsenal team-mate, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the midfielder also ruled out with a knee injury – his second of the season.

Welbeck’s career at Arsenal has been blighted by injuries since his £16 million move from the Red Devils in 2014, appearing only 36 times in the league and scoring eight goals.