Danny Welbeck Could Be the Key to an Arsenal Title


This could be the year that Arsenal finally break through and win the Premier League title. Arsene Wenger’s men have almost everything necessary to kick on and capture the most elusive of prizes. The one thing missing for them so far has been the presence of a competent striker. Danny Welbeck’s January return could be just the remedy to Arsenal’s biggest problem.

Arsenal have attempted to rely on the combination of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud to spearhead their attack. Neither has manned the position with much effectiveness. Both post Whoscored.com player rating averages under seven and have struggled with fitness. Neither has inspired Arsenal fans with much confidence with their play.

Giroud, to be fair, has chipped in with six goals but all you have to do is watch him play to understand he isn’t the answer. Men in Blazers love to was eloquently about his, “meaty french forehead” but it’s about the only part of him that’s really been good on the year. He can fool you because he does contribute goals, but closer examination of his game reveals he doesn’t do much else. If he scores a goal he’s worth playing, if he doesn’t, he doesn’t add anything to the side.

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Walcott is almost the aesthetic opposite of his French teammate. He looks wonderful at times, running all over the pitch with great pace, but at the end of the match you question what he’s actually contributed. He isn’t a clinical finisher and while he stretches the defense with his pace, the Gunners have Alexis Sanchez for that. Not surprisingly given his history, he’s injured at the moment and unavailable for selection. Ultimately, he’s just not a reliable striker for a title contender.

That’s what makes the upcoming January return of Danny Welbeck so important. Unless Arsenal breaks its normal policy and spends big on a striker in the January window, Welbeck is their best option. In a strange way, he’s almost a combination of Giroud and Walcott. He has the height and athleticism to finish with his head and also has the pace to threaten defenses with runs past the back four. If Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott had a baby, it would probably come out a lot like Danny Welbeck. 

If Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott had a baby, it would probably come out a lot like Danny Welbeck.

Critics of Welbeck would rightly point at his injury history and his sometimes questionable mental makeup as legitimate causes for concern. Both are perfectly reasonable questions. The counterpoint is that Welbeck is only 24-years old so expecting him to offer a more mature emotional approach to the game is quite reasonable as well. The injury question comes down to hoping for a bit of good fortune. Not the most comforting answer, but luck is the only one available.

If Danny Welbeck can regain his fitness and find a patch of good form it makes Arsenal’s attack truly frightening. Mesut Ozil and Sanchez are already playing very well in the attacking midfield and would only become more dangerous with the presence of a legitimate striker. The thought of Ozil choosing to play a ball to a streaking Sanchez or a lurking Welbeck could keep even the best Premier League defenders up at night.

It will be interesting to see if Wenger chooses the bold route and buys a world-class striker in January. If he doesn’t, then Arsenal’s title hopes will rest squarely on Danny Welbeck’s shoulders.