So, here we are again with Danny Welbeck. It appears that the same narrative persists with the Englishman since he made his move to the Emirates. He manages to break into the starting line-up and put together a string of fine performances, slowly changing minds that he can become a permanent part of the attacking unit and then disaster strikes in the form of injury. For Welbeck, he doesn’t get those injuries that only limit him for weeks, he will be gone for such a length of time that his existence on the squad can sometimes be forgotten.
Welbeck is now faced with the seemingly impossible task of forcing his way back into a starting three that boasts stellar names like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette. Since the signing of Lacazette was announced, Arsenal fans have been clamouring for the trio to start together and they have been granted their wish in recent weeks. In the three games that they have started together, Arsenal have recorded victories in all of the games including the impressive win in the North London derby where they each made a contribution with Ozil and Lacazette registering an assists and Alexis scoring the second goal.
However, Welbeck’s form at the beginning of the season shouldn’t be so easily discounted when discussing his role in the squad. Early in the season, he was forming a nice understanding down the left with Kolasinac and his fellow strike partner that yielded some positive results with him scoring four goals before his untimely injury. Now, to be brutally honest, when talking about the aforementioned trio, Welbeck doesn’t come close to them in terms of quality but his unpredictability and his uncanny nature to find himself in scoring positions keeps him in Wenger’s favour.
One thing that the Englishman can never be accused of is lacking effort. But that criticism has been levelled towards Ozil and Sanchez and recent months and deservingly so. With their contract situation still remaining unresolved and both of them being prone to having emotional mood swings on the pitch, Welbeck could easily find his name back in the starting line-up if their form and subsequently their play begins to dip.
There is no doubt that Wenger has put trust in Welbeck and won’t hesitate to put him in the line-up when we will inevitably need a spark from the bench. Welbeck’s past does indicate that he will never be a 20+ a season player because he can’t stay fit enough for the whole campaign and quite frankly, he hasn’t shown the finishing ability. But there is no doubt that he can contribute 10-15 goals across all competitions and still be a valuable asset to the Arsenal squad.
Finally, Welbeck falls under the same bracket as his fellow Englishman, Jack Wilshere. Naturally, you would want them on the team because they have the ability to make a difference but there are only so many times that Wenger can play them before an injury occurs. Both will be looking to get back into the starting XI as soon as possible and with a World Cup coming up in June, both need to grab any opportunity they are given with both hands.