The injury to Danny Welbeck will have more ripples than most give the striker credit for.
Welbeck has flourished under the wing of Unai Emery, a complete contrast to what most predicted for the England striker at the start of the Spaniard’s reign - the exit door.
Most foresaw that ‘Dat Guy’ would be at another club quite rapidly, but before his horror injury struck, Welbeck had a goal ratio of one in every other game. Impressive for someone who flitted in and out of the side.
Emery has recognised Welbeck’s value too. Well, according to media rumours he has, anyway. It has seen more than a few players linked with the tough ask of replacing the effervescent ‘Welbz,’ but one name has refused to go away.
Nicolas Pepe is a young attacking winger, plying his trade for Lille. The Ligue Un club’s resurgence this season has seen a rise to prominence for the Ivorian attacker.
It has been a short career and it is really only this season that Pepe has really raised eyebrows. Lille have once again started to trouble the European places, after a few years in the doldrums. The reason for this?
Lille currently sit in second spot, the best of the rest after PSG, and Pepe has banged in eight goals and five assists in 13 games - that’s a big intervention in every game.
The rumours abound regarding a 27m move in this winter window, but there will be competition for the winger, as he is one of the hottest properties in Europe right now.
Plus, we still have Welbeck to come back. The England man is also rumoured to be close to a new extension on his deal, so the future is bright for Welbeck, although competition may be a little tighter upon his return.