Danny Welbeck may lack the clinical finishing touch to float Manchester United and Louis van Gaal’s boat, but he bagged his first Arsenal goal on just his second domestic outing.
His 34th-minute strike followed an assist that allowed Mesut Ozil to break the deadlock at Aston Villa and his virtuoso performance in the west Midlands prompted comparisons being drawn between the son of Longsight and Gunners icon Thierry Henry in Arsene Wenger’s post-mach press conference.
Likening a 23-year-old English forward deemed of an insufficient standard to make the grade at Old Trafford to the scorer of 226 Arsenal goals and arguably the greatest player to have ever graced the Premier League seems a little reckless on the surface.
But the parallels drawn between the legend and the likely lad aren’t quite so askew.
The north Londoners procured Henry from Juventus, where he had forged a reputation as an erratic finisher and spent his Serie A stint deployed as a makeshift winger.
With just three goals in 19 appearances for the Old Lady and 28 in 141 before that at Monaco, few would’ve envisioned the 37-year-old being the roaring success he was for the Emirates club.
Welbeck, who was frequently chastised for his sharpshooting shortcomings at his former club, notched an almost identical 29 in 142 United appearances, despite a vast amount of these outings coming via the bench.
He also got his first in Arsenal colours far quicker than Henry, who had to wait until his eighth Gunners outing before banishing the bagel, did.
Lugging the first-goal millstone around was a big factor behind Fernando Torres’ downfall at Chelsea and now Welbeck is rid of the burden, he’s free to revel in a deluge, similar to the one Diego Costa is currently savouring after getting off the mark on his Blues debut.
A price of 25/1 says Welbz outscores his striking peers this season to claim the Premier League golden boot.