Arsene Wenger rubbishes suggestions that Danny Welbeck has struggled to adapt to life at Arsenal…
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared Danny Welbeck’s summer move from Manchester United a success, despite recent criticism of the striker, who has scored just four Premier League goals so far this season.
The £16m man is set to return to Old Trafford the first time since his exit from the club, when Arsenal face United in Monday’s FA Cup clash. Welbeck will be hoping to make a big impression on his former club, as the Gunners aim for a place in the competition’s semi-finals.
Wenger, who was quoted by the Daily Mirror, said: “He’s very important and has played many, many games since the start of the season. I think he’s played in nearly every single game. His position is one of the three up front, central, left of right. He can play anywhere.
“If you check the statistics, you will see he is one of the players who has played the most games for us – just not in the last couple of games.”
Despite Wenger’s assertion, Welbeck has played just four minutes as a substitute during his side’s last two games – against both Everton and Queens Park Rangers – and will no doubt be anxious to impress the Frenchman at the start of next week.
Wenger added: “You can make an individual debate on every single player, that is always a possibility, but what is important is that you have moments in the season where some players play a bit less.
“Most of the time it’s up front, because not every single player can play every game in the biggest part of the season. You have a player like Olivier Giroud, who is playing at the moment but he missed four months. During that period, Welbeck played every single game.”
Welbeck also admitted that he wishes to continue his progress under Wenger, and reward him for his faith: “I think it’s gone okay. I wish to do a lot more, definitely will do and it’s something I want to build on and keep progressing. But I feel like I’ve improved.
“It’s different going from one team to another, settling in and once you get past that stage you want to keep pushing on and get a second to none understanding with team mates on the pitch. Once you build that relationship on the pitch, things will only get better.
“There’s so many good players at Arsenal. Obviously training every single day, you get to know them better. You get to know what they like to do, what side they like to go on, where to play passes through and so on.
“I play football, I can play across the front three positions, depending on who is available, what formation, coming up against different opponents. The manager is going to select who he thinks is best for the game.
“The last few weeks we’ve not spoken about different positions. Once I get out onto the pitch I will just give it 100 per cent.”