With Arsenal heading north for an FA cup quarter final on Monday, it gives our summer signing Danny Welbeck a first chance to show his former club Manchester United that they were wrong to not play him much and then let him leave. But the England international striker has not been playing regularly for his new club either of late and may be worried that he will be left sitting on the bench while his team mates run out on to the Old Trafford pitch.
I would not worry if I was him, especially after what Arsene Wenger said about him in his pre-match press conferene today. As reported by the Arsenal website, Wenger was full of praise for his new forward, insisting that signing him from United was a great move for the Gunners.
The boss also alluded to his lack of time on the pitch in recent weeks but reminded the player that Olivier Giroud has been in good form since his return from months out with injury. As Wenger pointed out, Welbeck has played a lot of games for Arsenal this season, all across the three forward positions.
The manager said, “He’s very important and has played many, many games since the start of the season. I think he’s played in nearly every single game. His position is one of the three up front – central, left or right. He can play anywhere.
“He’s one of the players who has played the most games for us, but not in the last couple of games. You have moments in the season where some players play a bit less.
“Most of the time it’s up front because not every single player can play every game in the biggest part of the season. You have a player like Olivier Giroud who is playing at the moment but he missed four months. During that period Welbeck played every single game.
“He plays very well for me and is an exceptional player who will have a great future here. I am very, very happy that I bought him.”
Danny has started 23 games already for Arsenal and I have a strong feeling that Monday will make it 24. As well as needing to keep the team fresh after three tough games in a week, Wenger will not be blind to the ‘former club’ factor that will have Welbeck desperate to impress at the club he joined as an 11 year old and who never truly believed in him.
So is the striker a must start on Monday? And if so should it be at centre forward or out wide?