Danny Welbeck injury overshadows Arsenal Europa League progress

Arsenal Head Coach Unai Emery with Shkodran Mustafi during a training session at London Colney

Arsenal Head Coach Unai Emery with Shkodran Mustafi during a training session at London Colney

"His injury was with the mentality of the players".

"It's one big family and we're always going to fight for each other".

"This could be a break of something in the ankle", stated Emery. Then every match we want the best performance from every player.

His recent showing came against Liverpool on Saturday when he came off the bench to set up Alexandre Lacazette for Arsenal's equaliser that extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches across all competitions. He's helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity.

He deservedly received a call up to Gareth Southgate's England squad this afternoon but after what looks like a serious injury against Sporting CP tonight, it looks like he will be out for a long spell.

Caretaker Sporting boss Tiago Fernandes said: "The players did exactly what I asked them to do". I think Danny was working well. "They are a big competitive team".

A victory for Qarabag against Vorskla Poltava meant this 0-0 draw was enough to secure the Gunners' progress from Group E as Sporting had Jeremy Mathieu sent off late on for scything down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he burst through on goal.

Welbeck was taken to hospital during the second half of the game for an x-ray.

The 27-year-old has been riddled with fitness problems since joining the Gunners from Manchester United for a fee of £16million four years ago.

The incident knocked the wind out of Arsenal's sails but Welbeck's replacement Aubameyang hit the crossbar as the visitors offered very little in terms of an attacking threat.

That all means that if they are victorious at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening, Arsenal will be through to the knockout stages as group winners, despite having two matches left to spare.