When I ash you whether you agree with the former Arsenal and Scotland striker Charlie Nicholas about Danny Welbeck being ahead of Alexis Sanchez in the pecking order at Arsenal at the minute, I must point out that the football pudit does mean assuming both players are match fit, because the England international is currently nursing a groin injury and is not due to be back in Arsenal colours until after the international break.
Barring another injury to our Chile international then Alexis should be fully match fit as well by then, so it will be interesting to see what Arsenal team Arsene Wenger goes for to face the trip To Watford in our first game back. Nicholas has told Sky Sports that he thinks it should be Welbeck who gets the nod at the moment, judging by their current form and impact in the team.
Wellbz has started the new season well, scoring three goals already but also offering a lot more in terms of pace, movement and sheer work rate, while there are questions about the commitment of his Chilean teammate.
The former Gunner said, “Playing against Chelsea last weekend, you knew Welbeck had to start in front of Sanchez.
“At the moment Alexis Sanchez doesn’t fit in. Sanchez is the best player on his day but at the moment if Welbeck was fit, he starts.
“Yes he is because of his pace and his movement. He’s not the most natural finisher, and he will frustrate the life out of a lot of people but he stretches defences with his pace and movement every day of the week.
“That’s why he played him at Chelsea. There was a reason behind it. He scored two goals the previous weekend and his pace and movement helped Alexandre Lacazette, who is a proven No 9. We just don’t know how committed Sanchez is since his move to Manchester City collapsed.
“The options Arsenal require up front are pace and movement and Welbeck gives you that. If it’s Welbeck up closer to Lacazette and then Welbeck on the left then so be it.”
Mentioning Lacazette does raise a point as well, because Wenger needs to get his summer signing firing and showing the finishing power that caused the boss to make him our club record transfer and maybe that does mean Welbeck is the better option alongside him.
Nicholas went even further by suggesting that Arsenal might not even miss Alexis and the other contract rebel Mesut Ozil too much if they leave as many Arsenal transfer rumours would have you believe.
He said, “If Arsenal were to let Sanchez and Ozil go, of course they would lose a lot of talent, but is it replaceable? Of course it is. Alex Iwobi, Reiss Nelson and the other youngster have got the potential to come in.
“It’s not as good as the two superstars but there are no guarantees for any footballer. If you are not doing the business in the big games, then you can be put on the bench.
“The Chelsea game was an eye opener,” he added. “It was the best most balanced performance Arsenal have had in a long time. We’ve been waiting for a long time to see a performance like that and it was without Sanchez and Ozil starting.
“It’s about playing with a bit of discipline. Iwobi didn’t play the game he usually likes to play but he was disciplined. He had to do the hard yards and that’s what Arsenal haven’t been doing with the superstars in the team. Players have to adjust to what the demands are in certain big games.”
What do you make of these comments Gooners?