Arsenal’s 27-man travelling party has arrived in Asia as their pre-season preparations get underway, but, meanwhile, Wellington remains in London, perhaps uncertain about what the future may hold for him.
The Brazilian was a surprise omission from Arsenal’s squad for the Premier League Asia Trophy, particularly given that his longstanding work permit problems are now behind him. As well as being overlooked for the initial selection, Wellington also had to watch on as Jon Toral was chosen as the replacement for Jeff Reine-Adelaide following the Frenchman’s late withdrawal.
Where does this leave Wellington? It would be presumptuous to suggest that his Arsenal career is over, but, at the age of 22, he certainly doesn’t have too much time on his side to make a sustained breakthrough at the club.
There is the possibility that the former Fluminense player could still feature for Arsenal this pre-season in the Emirates Cup, but the fact that he has been left out of the trip to Asia is still a source of wonderment for some as the games against a Singapore XI and either Everton or Stoke City would surely have provided manager Arsene Wenger with an ideal opportunity to assess the winger’s capabilities.
There have been suggestions in some quarters that Wellington may remain an Arsenal player but instead head out on loan this season to another English club. That would certainly make sense and would enable him to adapt to the rigours of the English game, but in such a scenario Wellington would be 23 by the time he returns to Arsenal and even then the club might not be able to afford him regular game time.
Some have written Wellington off already as a result of his lack of goals during his various loan spells away from the club. It is true that he is hardly prolific- a total of nine goals spread across five loan stints is testament to that- but he has weighed in with plenty of assists and last season demonstrated some long-awaited consistency whilst representing Almeria in La Liga.
There are plenty of questions regarding Wellington at the moment, with his current situation becoming ever more puzzling the longer the uncertainty surrounding him persists. As the end of the summer transfer window draws closer we should have a much clearer indication of what Arsenal’s intentions are for the player and whether they will keep, loan or sell him.
For now, though, the speculation regarding the Brazilian U21 international continues to rumble on.