WelbeckARSCRY

Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck have been excluded from Arsenal’s 2016/17 Champions League group stage squad.

The 32 sides in Europe’s elite competition are required to name a 25-man roster for the six Autumn matches, with changes permitted for the knockout rounds.

Arsene Wenger has decided to leave out the aforementioned injured duo, suggesting they are not making rapid progress in their recoveries.

In 2014/15, the French tactician faced a similar situation with Olivier Giroud. The striker then returned more quickly than expected, but was unable to play in the Champions League until February.

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Welbeck, however, is unlikely to make such a miraculous comeback, having suffered an awful knee injury against Manchester City last term, which also saw him miss Euro 2016.

It continued a frustrating start to his spell in north London, which since May 2015 has seen three months of brilliant form sandwiched by two lengthy injuries.

Per-Mertesacker

Much-maligned striker Yaya Sanogo has made the cut, perhaps in place of Welbeck, with the France Under-21 international having returned from a season out on loan.

Sanogo has only scored one goal during his Arsenal career, which came in a 2014/15 Champions League group phase clash against Borussia Dortmund.

Meanwhile, new signing Lucas Perez is set to play a prominent role for the Gunners this term, and is joined by fellow August addition Shkodran Mustafi, who should help tighten up the back-line.

Two more summer arrivals have been included, in midfielder Granit Xhaka and young centre-back Rob Holding, who completed the side’s opening two Premier League fixtures of this season.

Wenger’s full selection, including the currently injured Carl Jenkinson and Gabriel, follows.

 

Culled from Squawka

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