Photo: Arsenal's Danny Welbeck plays first match for 10 months

The Arsenal forward could not have returned at a better time.

Arsenal take on Bournemouth this afternoon in a key Premier League encounter for the Gunners in their bid to remain in the title race. But it was a match that took place last week that could ultimately determine if Arsene Wenger’s side make a late surge for the crown.

Arsenal’s under-21s took on Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday, running out 4-1 winners, and the 60-minute appearance from striker Danny Welbeck will have been a welcome sight for those fans desperate to have the England international back in the first-team fold.

The 25-year-old has not played a single minute of senior football this season following a knee operation. However, he looked decent in his first competitive match for 10 months and could soon return to Wenger’s match-day squad.

Welbeck has only featured 34 times for Arsenal since arriving from Manchester United, but his eight goals and six assists speak of a player who can make a considerable impact at the Emirates Stadium in the years to come.

Welbeck’s pace and work-rate could yet be vital as Arsenal attempt to move ahead of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City in the months ahead.

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