Danny Welbeck is a man on a mission. The England international has been plagued by injury since moving to Arsenal from Manchester United in September 2014 but his determination to get back into Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up has been clear for all to see.
Welbeck has made just 22 appearances since the start of last season but two goals in Arsenal’s 5-0 win at Southampton in the FA Cup could see him pull rank above Olivier Giroud. To be fair to the Frenchman, he has popped up with a number of important goals this season but his profligate finishing has let Arsenal down on more than one occasion in recent years.
Since netting in five consecutive games at the start of 2017, Giroud has managed just one goal in four appearances and Welbeck could be set for a solid run in the side. After all, the France star appears to be effective when coming off the substitute’s bench...
Like Arsenal fans, Welbeck has the club’s best interests at heart and he will want to play a key role as the Gunners look to challenge for silverware and another top four finish. With three home fixtures against Leicester City, Manchester City and West Ham United in the coming weeks, the Gunners will be looking to take full advantage with the enthusiastic Emirates crowd fully behind Welbeck and co.
Wenger’s men, currently priced at 10/11 to finish in the top four with 888sport, will need to take full advantage of their home games to close the gap to Chelsea at the top. Arsenal got back to winning ways in their most recent appearance at the Emirates in a two-nil victory over Hull City after an embarrassing defeat to Watford last time out.
Wenger must now turn to a rejuvenated Welbeck, who has 34 goals and 15 assists in his Premier League career, to fire the Gunners to the Champions League for the 21st year in a row. The former Manchester United man netted a memorable last-gasp header to defeat eventual champions Leicester City at the back end of last season and fans will expect more important goals as the top four battle starts to heat up.
Given the chance, Welbeck can be Arsenal’s leading man upfront – especially as Chile star Alexis Sanchez has looked distracted with rumours over his long-term future. When the nitty gritty part of the season arrives, Wenger will need somebody that he trusts upfront to fire in the goals and Welbeck could be that guy. With Giroud struggling to inspire confidence amongst Arsenal supporters, fans may call for Welbeck’s inclusion on a regular basis.
Welbeck has done well in patches but his progress has been hindered by a number of long-term injuries – hopefully that will all change in the next few months. If he manages to stay fit, the Arsenal man could be Wenger’s difference maker in the fight for the top four. And with a favourable FA Cup fixture with Sutton United approaching, the Gunners could be set for silverware as well as a Champions League spot.