Nicolas Pepe, Ousmane Dembele, Cengiz Under: Danny Welbeck replacement at Arsenal?

Danny Welbeck’s serious ankle injury has forced Arsenal to rethink their January transfer plans – but who will be on the Gunners’ radar when the window reopens?

The England international, who is out of contract next summer, is expected to miss the rest of the season after sustaining the fracture in Arsenal’s goalless draw with Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League.


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The ramifications of the injury extend not only to Welbeck but to the club as a whole, with Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi revealing they could be active in January to fill the gap left by the forward.

“Welbeck’s injury is absolutely something unplanned,” he said. “Yes, that makes you consider things. We are in November, so it’s a good time to start analysing what options we have in the market.

“We are not closing the door but it’s still not the preferred one. If there is a very good opportunity, we are definitely going to consider [it], we will see.”

Here, we take a closer look at three players – Nicolas Pepe, Ousmane Dembele and Cengiz Under – the Gunners could target in January…

How does Welbeck compare? (18/19 league stats)

Nicolas Pepe

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe has emerged as a primary transfer target for Arsenal in January, after the extent of Welbeck’s injury was revealed.

The Times claim Arsenal have set their sights on the 23-year-old Ivory Coast international, who has eight goals and five assists in 13 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Nicolas Pepe

The Gunners face competition from Tottenham to secure the services of Pepe, who is valued at £27m.

Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona forked out £97m to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, but you could argue they are yet to see a return on that investment.

There have been glimpses of sheer brilliance from the 21-year-old since arriving at the Camp Nou, but he has been injury plagued his first season in Catalonia.

Dembele won the World Cup with France in Russia, only to be linked with a loan move to Arsenal by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.

Ousmane Dembele

A six-month loan in January would certainly appeal to Arsenal, covering the absence of Welbeck while he recovers.

But Barcelona are understandably unwilling to sell Dembele less than two years after signing him for the best part of £100m.

Cengiz Under

Could the solution to Arsenal’s crisis on the wing lie in Italy?

Well, Bleacher Report claim Unai Emery will lodge his interest in Roma winger Cengiz Under in January.

The Gunners’ interest in the Turkey international was present long before Welbeck’s injury, with scouts sent to watch the 21-year-old throughout the season, during which he scored three goals and assisted four times in 14 appearances.

If Arsenal had any reservations about making a move for Under, Welbeck’s injury may have just forced their hand, and it’s a move the winger, who has expressed his desire to play in England, would welcome.

Cengiz Under

“Among the leagues I want to play in are La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League,” Under said back in 2017. “But I want to play in the Premier League the most.”

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Who would Arsenal try and sign in January – Pepe, Dembele or Under?

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