Rio Ferdinand has hailed Arsenal’s deadline day acquisition of Danny Welbeck, and believes his former Manchester United colleague will ‘explode’ at the Emirates Stadium if he is afforded the opportunity to play in his preferred central striker position.
Arsenal recruited Welbeck on the final day of the transfer window with his prospects at Old Trafford becoming even more remote following the signing of Radamel Falcao, a player to have also been linked with a move to north London.
It took a transfer fee of £16 million to confirm the signing of Welbeck, while the player is expected to pick be a sizeable salary of £105,000-per-week over the duration of his long-term contract.
There is certainly a gulf in talent between Welbeck and Falcao and many Arsenal supporters were fairly exasperated that it was the 23-year-old Englishman rather than the Colombian superstar that arrived at the Emirates Stadium.
But the optimists among Arsenal fan, of which there do not appear to be many, will be hopeful that Welbeck can be transformed into a forward of repute if he earns a run of games up top, as per Daniel Sturridge once he moved to Liverpool.
Ferdinand, meanwhile, is among those who expect Welbeck to fill his boots should Arsene Wenger place his faith in the youngster, having watched him at close quarters during their time spent together at Old Trafford.
“Welbeck is a top signing for Arsenal,” Ferdinand tweeted. “Good business done by them.
“If he gets that trust to be no.1 striker at AFC he will flourish & explode.”
Welbeck’s signing became somewhat imperative for Arsenal following the long-term injury sustained by Olivier Giroud and he should, barring a similar turn of events, be given just the opportunity he has been craving.
Giroud will be absent until the new year having sustained a fractured tibia in a seemingly innocuous incident in the draw with Everton, during which he scored, which presents Welbeck with time to establish himself as the leading man.
He will, however, encounter something of a baptism of fire once he begins Arsenal duty following this current international break, with the Gunners facing two extreme tests in what should be his first two games.
On Sunday week Arsenal will host last season’s champions Manchester City, before they begin their Champions League campaign with a visit to Borussia Dortmund in the opening group encounter.