Is Arsenal playing Welbeck against Man United such a good idea?

Danny Welbeck is set to return to Arsenal’s squad after being out of action for two weeks following a knee injury. The Gunners go head to head with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday in a race for automatic Champions League qualification.

Opta-powered fantasy football game have analysed Welbeck’s stats from both last season at Manchester United and this season at Arsenal and, on the surface, it appears that the striker’s return will benefit his old club more than it will his new.

The 24-year-old has played 25 Premier League games for Arsenal this season, the same amount of appearances in the league as he clocked up last season for Manchester United.

However, Welbeck has only managed 4 goals this term, a rate of a goal every 419 minutes. In comparison, his 9 goals last season took him 162 minutes to net each one. A big drop from a forward that was already carrying a stigma of not scoring enough goals.

Furthermore, Welbeck’s 9 goals in the Premier League for Manchester United last season came from just 46 shots, a more than respectable strike-rate of 20%. Since his move to Arsenal that has fallen dramatically to a strike-rate of just 7% after his 4 goals have come from a total of 58 shots.
Welbeck’s shot accuracy has not been affected since his move last summer, 53% for both United and Arsenal. But the forward’s passing has taken a dip. Welbeck has gone from an excellent 87% pass completion last season at Manchester United to an unimpressive 72% during his time at Arsenal.

Despite scoring the winner in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in March, the stats suggest that Manchester United have nothing to fear from their ex-player as they look to leap-frog Arsenal in their bid to qualify for the Champions League automatically.

Tags Man United welbeck


  1. Jim A says:

    Knocking MU out of the Cup was one of the big highlights for me this year. I really hope we take it again this year. That being said DW should have become a bigger part of the attack this year. I feel OG when he came back and Alexis have held up their part with our attack but with his playing mostly on the right it really hasn’t gone smoothly. Maybe it was going from middle to right that was tough to adjust to.
    I love his determination and that is a major high point he has going for him.

    1. josh37 says:

      When I look at the squad for next year, assuming everyone’s fully fit, I can’t see Welbeck as anything bar the #2 striker and impact sub currently.
      Haha it almost feels like American sports with the young strikers we have currently! Welbeck, Akpom, Sanogo, Iwobi have all the physical properties just lacking a few fundamentals.
      They all have a tremendous upside and if they continue to develop could truly be weapons a few seasons from now! (If you don’t rate Sanogo, just disregard his name)
      The more I think about it, I would be all for the Benteke transfer, and in terms of potential strikers on my wishlist close to the top. Proven in the league for a much weaker team, young, great finisher big fan of the club and I feel he would come to the club with a massive point to prove.

  2. AidanGooner says:

    Lies, lies and statistics.

  3. windrider007 says:

    Not a good idea to bring bang a player who has been out for almost a month, that too in such a season deciding game for us against his old club. Man u will probably set up just like Swansea and try to hit us on the counter.

    1. josh37 says:

      I doubt they will for a home game. Defensively United have shown major flaws this season and I’m predicting Fellaini in an advanced role with a focus on the wings due to young’s form. Hit us in their air and we’re hardly impenetrable that way.
      With our finishing recently… I feel beating De Gea will be the deciding factor

    2. True.Gooner says:

      They won’t set up like that, they’re at home.

  4. Jerick says:

    Why not? Valencia is likely to give him a through ball to score on De Gea and win Arsenal the match so once he’s fit I have no problem. Up the Guns

  5. dilla says:

    Yes DW should start. I expect he has a point to prove returning to Old Scrapyard.

    Stats above do not tell the full story on Welbeck. Has all the talent and potential to be the next Henry. Just lacks some composure. Give him time.

    1. True.Gooner says:

      Play him on the RW

  6. maxwell says:

    I said no to the same question when they played them in the Cup and looked what happened.

    Get him on the park !

  7. Darwin says:

    guys, its been reported that Welbeck might not be fit to face Utd, by the same newspaper who claimed he was fit. the dailymail. So Wenger might not have a selection issue there.

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