There was only one topic of conversation after Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Sporting CP: Danny Welbeck.

The England international was stretchered off in obvious distress in the first half at Emirates Stadium.

Unai Emery admitted it was the worst news that cast a shadow on the team.

“It’s the worst news tonight, this injury. It’s clear that we are with him in these minutes. He was working well and he was having a good match. He had some chances too.

“His injury was with the mentality of the players. They [saw] it was a big injury. When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don’t want it to happen but this is our profession,” he said at the post-match conference.

The players went in to half time hoping to be told it was not as bad as it seemed but obviously, there was no such news.

“When one player has an injury like that, every player on the pitch they look at this injury. First it’s in your mind - you think for the player.

“But I think the players were concentrated on the match and we forgot this injury the next minute on the pitch. But when the match finishes, the first thing they did was ask for him.”

There had been rumours of interests in the England striker from some Premier League clubs like Crystal Palace and this injury surely ends such interest, at least for now.

Does Welbeck still have a future at the Emirates despite the injury?

“He’s a very good person. His commitment with us is very big. He’s helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity.

“It’s a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person,” Emery said.

Webeck had been handed a start in his preferred position up front but - after going close with an effort that was cleared off the line – he went down in obvious distress in the 26th minute and was stretchered off.

It was a desperately sad end to Welbeck’s evening, and the rest of the first half struggled to regain any real sense of rhythm.

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