While it may not quite have been prudent to jump up and down and shout ‘it was all my idea to buy Danny Welbeck’ after England’s two-goal hero’s Switzerland salvo, you would think someone would have caught a quote of Arsene Wenger waxing lyrical about his latest signing by now.
Some credence has been given to rumours that Welbeck, who is vying with Alexis Sanchez to be Arsenal’s shortest-priced first-scorer contender at 6/1 when Manchester City visit the Emirates, was brought in over Wenger’s head by chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
Much of the storm-in-a-teacup furore surrounding this possibility is based on circumstantial evidence, such as Wenger being in Rome when the transfer window closed, saying he already had too many strikers, wanting to give Yaya Sanogo a chance, etc, so some salt should be consumed all round.
However, the fact that Wenger is yet to talk about his new big-money striker, when he was so effusive about early summer captures such as Sanchez and Southampton’s Calum Chambers, will keep tongues wagging until the Frenchman’s plans for Welbeck become apparent.
As the man himself alluded to after the win in Basel, Arsenal will make plenty of chances for Welbeck, having been credited with 20-plus in the 1-1 draw with Leicester last time out in the Premier League, so the 23-year-old’s finishing ability should be rigorously tested.
The ex-Red Devil is no mug in front of goal though, with a better per 90 minutes strike rate picked up in last year’s Premier League than Olivier Giroud, the man whose place he hopes to take up top.*
Two last night means Welbeck has now notched ten times in 28 games for his country too, which isn’t bad for a guy renowned for finding a touch of the finishing yips hard to shake off.
Welbeck was turned down by City as a kid and never managed to score against the newly-crowned champions in the Premier League for United. He’s 2/1 to do so in his first match for Arsenal.
*stats courtesy of Squawka.com