English forward Danny Welbeck will look to be a full part of manager Arsène Wenger’s plans for the rest of the season, following recovery from a horrific knee injury that saw him miss Euro 2016. But with the great recent play from Arsenal’s other forwards, breaking into the team will not be an easy task.
Danny Welbeck Will Contend for Arsenal Starting XI
Welbeck has the speed, power and finishing ability to play for almost any top team. However, after a number of setbacks, Welbeck needs to regain full fitness before he can play consistently once again. His return against Preston North End in the FA Cup showed that he still has the promise and quality needed to compete at the top level.
The form of competing forwards Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez will make it very difficult for Welbeck to get back into the team straight away. The great form of these forwards this season will surely provide Wenger a conundrum with what to do with the 26-year-old.
Firstly, Alexis Sanchez has been the best player at the club this season. With 15 goals and 13 assists in the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, the Chilean has shown his worth to this squad.
Wenger introduced Alexis to the centre-forward position this season, and it has worked wonders. His runs in behind defenders, connecting with team-mates more fluently and dribbling at defenders with pace has made him very difficult to defend against.
Secondly, Olivier Giroud has brought his terrific form at the Euros to the current campaign. This comes all while behaving very professionally over being benched by Alexis. His soaring headers, hold-up play and late goals make him a valuable asset. Giroud has shown that his best role is a readily-available substitute who can start games when injuries start to pile up.
Thirdly, Lucas Perez has shown that when given the opportunity, he can produce quality minutes as well. A wonderful volley against Bournemouth and a back-heel assist against Preston proves that the Spaniard perhaps deserves more playing time than he has received.
What To Do
Alexis, Giroud, Perez, and Walcott have all proven they can score goals. Yet, Arsenal are currently out of the top four and have a lot of room for improvement.
If Wenger keeps Alexis out wide on the left with Giroud’s recent form as a starter, there may be room to integrate Welbeck as a substitute. With Walcott yet to come back from injury, Perez may have the best chance to excel on the right after his good run of form.
After Welbeck gets more minutes under his belt, he could certainly be the best striking option. His pace matches that of Lucas Perez, while his aerial ability could give Giroud a run for his money also.
If he can stay fit, it will be difficult for Wenger to keep him out of the team. His direct play and athleticism could see him score plenty of important goals, just like he did against Leicester City last season.