Arsenal handed fitness boost as Danny Welback and Jack Wilshere return to training after injury

Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky have also rejoined the squad after lengthy spells out

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The Independent Football

Top of the Premier League, and now four key players back in training after long-term injuries – this truly is a happy new year for Arsenal.

Following the recovery of Tomas Rosicky after seven months out earlier this week, manager Arsene Wenger has now been boosted by three more of his squad returning ahead of schedule.

Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin all took part in training on Friday, and although not currently match-fit, each are expected to be ready for the first team at some point throughout February.

Wenger has already entered the transfer market this month to strengthen his injury-hit squad with the signing of Mohamed Elneny from Basel for close to £7m, but when asked whether more signings would follow, he revealed he was happier to wait for his current players to return to fitness.

“I would prefer to have the players back from injury. Welbeck is two to three weeks away, and I am confident that I will not find a better player on the market.”

Midfielder Jack Wilshere also returned to training this week

Along with Wilshere, the striker has not featured once for the Gunners this season after injuring his knee in April of last year.

Anchorman Francis Coquelin, meanwhile, has been missing since sustaining ligament damage in the November defeat at West Bromwich Albion. Fellow midfielder Santi Cazorla remains out with a similar injury, and is not likely to be back until March.


The league leaders take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday, and could be handed a further fitness boost by the return of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been out since damaging his thigh at Norwich at the end of November.