We all know that at Arsenal Danny Welbeck has usually been the third-choice striker and this season he has started often as a left-winger instead, and he has actually had his best scoring season for the Gunners since his arrival, but you could hardly call him prolific.
But his form for England has been completely different, and although Arsenal fans would not mind so much if the Gunners let him go, he would be worth a lot more if he replicated his England scoring feats at the Emirates. Robbie Fowler, who has scored a few goals in his time, thinks Welbeck should definitely start as support to Harry Kane. “Football is a science as well as an art these days, with statistics playing an increasingly important factor.” Fowler said.
“Yet, as a striker, ‘goals scored’ was the only stat that ever mattered to me… which is why I believe Gareth Southgate HAS to find a place for Danny Welbeck in his starting XI tomorrow night.
“You look at this England side, and they have pace, trickery on the ball, strength at the back and youth on their side. But do they have goals? For me, so much – maybe too much – falls on the shoulders of Harry Kane .
“Don’t get me wrong, they are broad shoulders. He’s scored eight goals in his last seven internationals, 13 in 24 appearances for his country. That’s the record of a true world-level player, and I can see exactly why England have to build a team around him. But so can all the other nations at the World Cup. You look at Southgate’s team over the last year, and it’s obvious – stop Kane, you stop England.
“And there will be plenty of defenders out there like Sergio Ramos who know a thing or two about stopping strikers. I’ve looked at the goals from England, and Jamie Vardy has done OK, considering he comes off the bench quite a lot. He can be a threat late on in matches, using his pace and instinct.
“Yet the stand out is Welbeck. He’s actually the top scorer in the squad, and his 16 goals in 39 appearances for a player who often starts out wide is seriously impressive. For me, he’s one of those players who just fits international football. I don’t think you can ignore a proven goal record at any time but with this England squad, Southgate has got to look at the data given to him by his backroom staff. One thing stands out like a massive flashing red light with a klaxon blaring – not enough goals.”
We certainly cannot ignore Welbeck’s record for England, but should he be starting ahead of Vardy? Or anyone else in fact?