Arsenal have confirmed that forward Danny Welbeck will leave the club when his contract expires this summer.

The England international has missed the majority of the season after breaking his ankle in November and it appeared unlikely that the 28-year-old would be offered a new deal.

After the Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton, Welbeck appeared on pitch with Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech in a guard of honour, fuelling speculation he would not be extending his stay at the Emirates Stadium

And chairman Sir Chips Keswick confirmed the former Manchester United striker’s departure, telling the supporters that Welbeck’s five-year stay was coming to an end.

“His presence will be missed in the dressing room,” Keswick said over the stadium PA.

Welbeck, who joined Arsenal in 2014 from rivals Manchester United, scored 16 goals in 88 Premier League appearances but his time in north London was largely plagued by injury.

He is the third Arsenal squad member to head for the exit this summer, with Ramsey joining Juventus on a free transfer and Petr Cech announcing his retirement at the end of the season.

Keswick also paid tribute to Cech, 37, saying that the Czech “will always hold a special place in the affections of football fans around the world.”

All three players were presented with a special present from the club at the final whistle, with Ramsey visibly emotional after ending his 11-year association with the north London side.

Source: Evening Standard