You can’t help but feel for Danny Welbeck.
But for a rotten piece of luck, I feel sure he would making the trip across to France for this summer’s European Championships with a few valuable months of football under his belt and ready to do a pretty useful job for the Three Lions.
As it happens, he will likely spend his summer parked on a sofa, watching his international colleagues from afar, simmering with a sense of unquenchable frustration as the festering carcass of Wayne Rooney lumbers around the pitch, doing the job half as well as he could have.
It really is a cruel game, football. Scarcely does anyone really get what they deserve: Diego Costa is the walking embodiment of that.
As was to be expected, there’s been a veritable tsunami of ridiculous memes circulating about the amount of time Danny spent on the sidelines at Manchester United versus the amount of time he has been out injured while at Arsenal.
It’s as if to suggest that Arsene deliberately goes about punching the cruciate ligaments of his players while they sleep, in the hope that they will eventually tear during a game. It’s nonsense.
The 25-year-old will be out for around nine months, according to the club, which suggests he will be making a comeback, potentially, around February or maybe March next year, just in time to inspire us out of the annual slump and crash in form like some sort of footballing messiah.
Although he isn’t a prolific scorer of goals, he has a very useful habit of scoring very important, very memorable goals – he thrives on the big occasion, it seems. I think of the winner against Leicester this season, and his FA Cup strike at Old Trafford, both extraordinarily important in their own way.
There’s no doubt he will be missed, not only for his boundless energy and effort, but also because he is probably the most liked and respected player in world football. I don’t recall every hearing a bad word about him, even from Manchester United fans.
Danny’s absence will, of course, force Arsene into the market this summer for a striker of serious calibre. If he didn’t already have plans along the lines, he certainly will do now.
The likely departure of Theo Walcott this summer, coupled with Olivier Giroud’s patchy form, means that striking reinforcements are an absolute must – put simply: we need goals, and lots of them.
Danny’s injury would not have been in Arsene’s plans for the summer, but it’s happened so let’s hope that the manager reacts quickly and gets plenty of good business done early. It seems that Granit Xhaka is already in the bag, with luck he will be the first of three of four real high-quality signings.
Whether he will promote from within in order to cover for Danny (Chuba Akpom, Chris Willock), while going out to find a top-quality striker to compete with Olivier Giroud, remains to be seen but, whatever Arsene’s thinking, a new arrival cannot be left until the back end of August. Let’s move now, and move decisively.