Danny Welbeck’s new found form gives Arsenal a good type of a headache
There were quite a few positives to derive from the 3-0 win over Bournemouth over the weekend. The quality of the squad and the fact it was played at the Emirates means they would win the fixture 9 out of 10 times anyway. Even after the loss at Anfield, there was little Eddie Howe’s side could do to keep out the Gunners.
One question which many people had before the game was about how Danny Welbeck was being preferred to Alexis Sanchez. It was not just because Sanchez might want to leave the club but also because the England striker was wasteful in his last two outings against Stoke and Liverpool.
It was fitness concerns that ensured Welbeck got the nod over Sanchez and his performance has given Arsene Wenger a good headache to deal with. He scored 2 goals and was unlucky not to get a third. He also helped with an assist in the game.
No one here doubts Welbeck’s class though; the problem with him is consistency. He can go from clinical finishing to ridiculous misses in a matter of minutes. Some of this may just be because of a lack of confidence, and the brace over the weekend will definitely help with this. Another problem is the fact that he has been riddled with injury ever since joining Arsenal in 2014. This was the first season where he got in a full preseason and the benefits of it are pretty obvious both as far as availability and fitness are concerned. Many players need a decent run before they can get going match after match and with 3 goals to his name already, he is the leading scorer at the club right now.
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But, as well as Welbeck is performing, there is also a need to reintegrate Sanchez with the team. The forward scored 30 goals for Arsenal last season and had 14 assists making him their most productive and important attacking player. The only problem is that he and Welbeck both play in the same position and even though Welbeck is versatile enough to play in any forward role, he also has to contend with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette for a spot. If Arsenal were to revert to a back 4, Ozil would drop back into the centre midfield and there would be space for Welbeck up front. But, it looks like Wenger will stick to the three at the back system and that means there’s no space for Welbeck.
With a visit to Chelsea next week, Arsenal fans would be hoping for the best XI to take the field at Stamford Bridge. Whether this is going to include Welbeck or not is another question altogether. Well at least Wenger has more players in form than positions on the field.
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