When it comes to Arsenal and their choice of strikers or left-siders, Danny Welbeck probably isn’t the name most people opt to mention.
Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez would probably be the names you’re more likely to hear but are Arsenal missing what Welbeck brings to the team after his latest injury setback? The striker has hit 20 goals and set up 13 in 75 games for The Gunners since joining from Manchester United, so he definitely adds something to the team.
The Premier League campaign had started so well for the 26 year old before suffering a hip injury. Although it had been an indifferent start to the season for Arsenal, Welbeck had managed to bag 3 goals and an assist in 5 games, a very healthy return from 403 minutes of football. That’s a goal in less than every 1.5 games and many were suggesting this could finally be his year, especially with Alexis Sanchez in and out of the picture.
What Welbeck is good at is playing just behind or to the left of the central striker, so more often than not he would be playing in a system with Alexandre Lacazette. Now, there is no doubting Alexis Sanchez’s abilities and he is one of the best players at the club and still a top Premier League player but with his mind often elsewhere, when Welbeck returns, if he can hit the ground running quickly, he could see himself back in the starting XI.
When Welbeck plays, he adds not only pace and power to Arsenal’s attacking set up but also height. Lacazette is only 5’9 and we’ve seen previously how much of a threat Welbeck can be in the air. So the fact that he’s 6’1 could play a big role in him being selected. His work rate and energy are also key assets too, especially with many questioning Sanchez’s commitment to the cause over recent times. Welbeck will work hard and that will leave Lacazette to focus on what he does best, scoring goals but Welbeck has also proven that he can chip in with his fair share too.
With World Cup ambitions likely to be a thought in Welbeck’s mind, returning from injury and proving his worth for Arsenal will be his key aim as he looks to not only nail down a starting spot for his club but also a seat on the plane to Russia. He’s got a tremendous England goalscoring record and is likely to be involved at the World Cup if he proves both form and fitness.
It’s crucial for Arsenal that they get Welbeck back and fit and firing as soon as possible. With Sanchez’s future still in doubt and Lemar not keen on a move to the Emirates, Welbeck’s importance to the club could skyrocket, especially if Sanchez is sold in the January transfer window. It would be great to see the Manchester born striker finally hit the heights that many have expected of him for years.