Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck rushed to hospital with sickening ankle injury suffered against Sporting Lisbon in Europa League

The Gunners striker – who was given oxygen and taken off the pitch on a stretcher – went up for a header midway through the first-half and landed awkwardly.

Welbeck was then substituted for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with what must be a broken ankle.

His team-mates including Matteo Guendouzi were left visibly shocked by the incident, as he was given a standing ovation by the Emirates crowd.

The 27-year-old is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines and it was later confirmed he was taken to hospital.

The ex-Manchester United ace is also expected to now pull out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for next weeks two matches.

Welbeck smashed the ground in agony after the incident – with former Man Utd team-mate Nani comforting him with a kind gesture.

Mesut Ozil tweeted support for his team-mate, writing: "Oh no… get well soon Danny."

Arsenal legend Martin Keown, a pundit for BT Sport, said at half-time: "When you see that on the pitch it is always a bit shocking. It reflects on the players' faces.

"He is one of the nicest men I've met in football. He is the heart and soul of the football club and he's been desperately unlucky with injuries."

Speaking after the 0-0 draw that got Arsenal into the Europa League last-32, boss Unai Emery said: "We are all thinking of Danny, we think it is a serious injury.

"It is clear we are with him in this moment. He was working hard and playing well and had already had one chance at goal.

"I haven't spoken to him. He has gone to hospital and now we wait. But it is a serious injury. It is a break to something in the ankle, a difficult injury.

"The injury is very bad for him, very bad for us and for all who love Danny and his character.
"It is not the moment to think about contract. It is the moment to think about Danny, it is a difficult problem for him and the club."

It could well be his last appearance for the Gunners if the injury is as first feared, given Welbeck's contract is up in the summer.

Crystal Palace were eyeing a £10m January swoop for him to help their goal-shy attack.

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