Arsenal has made a move on the transfer deadline day and it wasn’t what people expected.
Danny Welbeck has joined the Gunners after passing his medical for a fee of around £ 15-16 million.
Arsene Wenger was thought to be bringing a proven quality player on deadline day, but Arsenal supporters won’t be too disappointed with Welbeck as the new striker to pair up with Alexis Sanchez.
He does bring plenty of experience given that he has played for Manchester United for three full seasons and that’ll bode well with the current Arsenal squad. He also gives Arsenal the versatility needed given that he has played all of the attacking roles for Manchester United. So there are some positives for bringing Welbeck.
But for that price tag, Wenger could’ve easily have gotten Mario Balotelli or pay a little bit more for maybe Radamel Falcao. There were other options for a world class strikers and this definitely was a panic buy considering Arsenal was desperate for a striker before the transfer window closed. A pretty hefty price, but still very young at age 24.
There’s a huge problem with Welbeck, however.
His lack of goals scored is not favorable to Arsenal. Welbeck has failed to score more than 9 goals in a season during his career at Manchester United. In fact, he has only scored 22 times for Manchester United in all competitions during his tenure. The most he has scored in the English Premier League was when he scored 9 goals for Manchester United during 2013-2014 and 2011-2012 seasons according to whoscored.com.
His numbers have been very inconsistent and so is his form. But, that can couple with the fact that he was not played in his favorable position, the number 9 or the striker position, and other star players are getting the spot light while Welbeck settles for the supporting cast.
But, it has been proven that when a team gives that belief and allows the player to play in his favorable position he’ll perform at a higher level and his name is Daniel Sturridge. During his tenure at Stamford Bridge, he was a complimentary player, deployed out wide on the wings. As a result, not only did he perform poorly but he also has stated that he performs better as a striker up top. Chelsea, refusing to have faith in Sturridge and giving him that chance, opted to sell him to title rivals Liverpool. Liverpool gave him that chance as a striker, and not as a winger, and has been in the form of his life scoring 20 plus goals ever since.
So there are cases where a certain player is given that chance to play in his favorable position and has done fantastically.
But, it remains to be seen whether Wenger will give Welbeck that belief and hand him the starting striker position. Considering Wenger has plenty of midfielders at his disposal, he’ll want to utilize at least three creative midfielders at once and one defensive midfielder to cover them. That leaves Sanchez on the wings with a vacant striker spot. So it does make sense to give Welbeck that spot given that it is his preferable position.
Yes, it is very early to judge whether Welbeck will repay Wenger’s faith in him or be a complete bust in the Arsenal system. But, the fact that matter is that Wenger needed a proven goal scorer and Welbeck isn’t that guy. But, who knows, maybe he’ll turn out like Sturridge and perform at a high level on a consistent basis. For Arsenal supporters, they hope he does turn out like Sturridge and help them claim their Premier League trophy for the first time since 2004.