By 90Min
November 10, 2018

Arsenal will increase their interest in signing LOSC Lille star man Nicolas Pépé during the January transfer window, following Danny Welbeck's rumoured season-ending injury on Thursday.

The England international fell awkwardly and was down for some time during the club's Europa League clash against Sporting CP, eventually being stretchered off after being given oxygen whilst still on the pitch.

FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/GettyImages

There still hasn't been any official word on the extent of Welbeck's injury, but staff behind the scenes appear to be fearing the worse and that has prompted Arsenal to alter their transfer plans for the upcoming January window. Reports suggest the forward broke his ankle and is still in hospital having the extent of the injury assessed.

As one of Unai Emery's top targets, it was expected that the club would look to sign Lille winger Pépé next summer. However, the Sun claims that the Ivorian forward is now Arsenal's top priority in the winter.


French outfit Lille are expected to demand €45m for Pépé's signature, and Arsenal could be forced to meet their high valuation if they want a full squad heading into the business end of the Premier League, as well as the latter stages of the Europa League.

Welbeck's injury on Thursday left his teammates visibly shaken on the pitch, and the Daily Mail's latest update hints that the striker could have played his last ever game from the club due to the injury.

It's suspected that Welbeck suffered a break, dislocation and ligament damage, although doctors are being made to wait until the swelling over his ankle reduces before an official diagnosis can be made.

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

The former Manchester United star only has a contract at the Emirates until the end of the season and despite returning to form in recent weeks, this injury will significantly reduce Welbeck's chances of receiving an extension in north London.

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