Paul Higham looks at what Danny Welbeck's Arsenal departure says about the player and the club, and what could be the next move for the England striker next summer.
Danny Welbeck will be joining Aaron Ramsey in looking for a new club next summer as Unai Emery continues to clear the decks with Arsenal ready to let the England striker leave on a free transfer.
Welbeck looks like he’s played his last game for the Gunners as an ankle injury could rule him out for the rest of the season, when he’ll then see his contract at the Emirates expire.
Ramsey had his contract offer withdrawn in September and, although Arsenal will help get Welbeck back to full fitness, he’ll then be following the Welshman out of the door.
The 28-year-old made 126 appearances for Arsenal following his £15m move from Manchester United, scoring 32 goals, but injuries have hampered him recently while the presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette has seen him reduced to a Europa League role.
It's a move that makes complete sense for all parties, but one which again shows Unai Emery means business and is clearing vital funds off the club's wage bill to up towards new signings next summer.
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Analysis - Where next for Welbeck?
A lot of the front-runners to sign him make a lot of sense, Everton are usually there or thereabouts and are also said to be interested in signing Welbeck's Arsenal team-mate Ramsey.
They do have Richarlison, but he also operates in a wider position at times and if Marco Silva decides Cenk Tosun is not for him then Welbeck would make sense as a replacement.
Of the rest, Newcastle and Crystal Palace could both do with a striker of his stature, while West Ham are another team that are usually linked with these type of players - and they've got Jack Wilshere there already to persuade his old team-mate to join him at the London Stadium.
A lot will depend how Welbeck's ankle injury progresses and he may have to take a step down to prove himself, making any possible promoted side from the Sky Bet Championship live contenders.
Leeds are the only ones currently in the betting and that would be a stand-out signing for them, but one that may not go down too well given Welbeck's Manchester United origins.
Welbeck profile - Willing runner but lacking goals
Welbeck has played for two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League in Arsenal and Manchester United and he's shows glimpses of real quality, but as a striker he's never quite hit the goal-scoring heights that many expected.
He's rarely been an automatic first choice up front, has spent a lot of time out wide and as a result he's never broken double figures for goals in a Premier League season - which is a stat that will surprise many.
His own unselfishness and willing running has perhaps not helped his own cause, as he's often been shunted out to a wide area and asked to run the channels and help in defensive situations due to his power, pace and discipline.
Having a best season tally of 12 goals is scant return for a player who should really be scoring a lot more goals, and perhaps there's just the sense that the the very top level he's not quite good enough to earn a regular start up front.
His best bet may be a slightly lower standard, a team outside the top six, where he can cement a regular start up front, where he could then try and finally increase his goal tally with a full season under his belt.
All this is, of course, dependent on his return from two ankle operations, but he's only 28 and also still held in high regard by Gareth Southgate - and his international CV boasts him being top scorer for England during their qualification for Euro 2016.