25th September 2017. by Edward Stratmann.
With injuries meaning Danny Welbeck had been restricted to just 15 Premier League starts for Arsenal in the last two seasons, it was brilliant to see him begin the 2017/2018 campaign fully fit and firing.
Actually being able to enjoy a preseason has undoubtedly been hugely beneficial for him, something he duly noted after his impressive brace vs. Bournemouth. “The past two years I didn’t have a preseason and that made it a bit difficult for me,” he explained.
“I’m pleased to have a preseason. With some of the games that we’ve played at the start of the season it’s not gone too well, but I’m pleased to be on the score sheet and long may it continue.”
Arsene Wenger then made a point of praising the determined English international in the aftermath of the aforementioned win over the Cherries, asserting: “He gets stronger and stronger. Let’s not forget that he was out for a long time. He’s a team player, Danny Welbeck, and that’s why coaches love him. He’s a guy who has a huge physical potential.”
“I’m pleased with his performance, I kept faith in him and overall I think he is getting stronger and stronger and more confident. Confidence plays a big part in his game and I loved his finishing on his second goal.”
Having started the Gunners’ first five Premier League matches and scoring a brilliant four goals was indeed a fantastic way to start the campaign, plus evidence his undeniable qualities that can often be forgotten due to his injury setbacks.
Frustratingly, in the Gunners’ recent 0-0 draw, however, the 26-year-old had to be taken off in the 75th minute with yet another knock. The prognosis is thankfully not too bad, with Welbeck set to miss just three weeks, but the time out disappointing interrupts his extremely encouraging start to the season.
Expected to return after the next international break for the Watford game in mid October, the languid forward will certainly be missed. Possessing an insatiable appetite for putting in hard work, plus with immense pace and a fine leap, his athleticism is a tremendous asset and ensures he’s a very challenging opponent to compete with in this regard.
In addition, his ability to time his runs in behind the defence, where he effectively angles and arcs his movements to give himself a dynamic advantage over his adversaries, further enhances his threat. Moreover, his ability to drop deep and link play, make intelligent infield ventures into the 10 spaces and switch positions if required with his fellow teammates only adds to his worth.
An effective dribbler and a really solid contributor on the defensive end to boot, Welbeck will be anxious to retain his spot as soon as possible once he returns to fitness. While it won’t be easy to knock off his expected replacement in Alexis Sanchez, the more selfless and team focused Welbeck often gives his side greater balance and a different dimension to the Chilean.
When speaking about the competition for places recently, Welbeck noted how he relishes the challenge to test himself against the best and how he believes it serves to make him an even better player. With that sort of attitude, it’s easy to see why his positivity makes him a great man to have in the dressing room, for Wenger to coach and for the younger players to learn from.
With Welbeck’s contract expiring in 2019, Wenger, who clearly holds the versatile attacker in high esteem, urged the club to renew his deal as soon as possible, in order not to risk his contract reaching a similar situation to that of Mesut Ozil and Sanchez. Following his blistering start to the new crusade this undoubtedly makes sense, but his form will have ensured there’s no shortage of potential suitors, so the Gunners would be wise to move swiftly and do everything in their power to secure his future before it’s too late.
For now, though, Welbeck will just be desperate to not only pick up where he left off when he returns, but also to remain fit and healthy throughout the rest of the season.
Who knows, if he can do that, there’s every chance the former Manchester United man might be able to enjoy one of the finest campaign’s of his injury interrupted career to date.
Read more articles written by Edward here.