When Arsenal signed Danny Welbeck from Manchester United in 2014, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger claimed that the deal went through because the Manchester club owed him ‘a favour’ after the sale of Robin van Persie. But three years on, it appears that the deal was a shrewd piece of business from the side of Louis van Gaal, who had made it clear that there was no space in his side for Welbeck.
Since moving to the Emirates, the Englishman has managed to make just 66 appearances in three years, scoring just 17 goals in all competitions and has the lowest goals-to-game ratio of all the club’s forwards. Over the course of his Arsenal career, you could think of innumerable instances where the former Manchester United star has missed absolute sitters and the fact that he cannot seem to stay fit for extended periods of time does not help his cause either.
But what is really disappointing about the situation is that the player has everything it takes to succeed as a striker in the Premier League. With raw pace and acceleration to go with a good physical presence and ability in the air, one might say that Danny has failed to live up to his potential so far in an Arsenal shirt. Despite all his attributes, the one thing he seems to lack is what is most important for a striker – finishing. If he can improve on that, I do not see why he cannot score 20 goals a season.
Considering the fact that the Englishman is still only 26 and has been extremely unlucky with injuries, perhaps he can be given more time at the club. But the fact of the matter is, neither Welbeck, Giroud or Walcott for that matter are capable of leading the team towards the title. These are players who can play second-fiddle to strikers in the class of Aguero, Costa or Lewandowski. So with that being said, the next season will be crucial for Welbeck in terms of his Arsenal career – if he fails to maintain his fitness and does not improve on his finishing, he must be let go.