England won the encounter 2-0 in Basel with Welbeck scoring both goals in an impressive performance by Roy Hodgson’s side, who still must restore the faith and interest of a nation after a dreadful World Cup.
Welbeck was afforded this chance to operate through the centre wearing the England No.9 after Daniel Sturridge had sustained an injury last week, and offered the type of performance that Manchester United supporters knew he was capable of.
Arsenal fans underwhelmed by the £16 million deadline day deal for Welbeck will now too be aware of just what the 23-year-old can bring when tasked with leading the line, and his club debut will be eagerly awaited.
Given the profile of the transfer he completed only last week, Welbeck’s was perhaps the display under most scrutiny as England began their qualification process for Euro 2016, and left St Jakob Park having earned the most praise.
'Bargain of the century'
Chief among those to wax lyrical about Welbeck was Jamie Redknapp, who said during his analysis of the game that the new Arsenal acquisition has proven himself to be ‘the bargain of the century’. That will certainly produce a wry smile from Arsene Wenger.
"I like what he does and the desire he shows to get into the box," Redknapp said while looking at the second goal of Welbeck’s brace.
"People talk about whether he’s this instinctive player; here I actually think he’s really relaxed. He knows he’s got a bit of time and he just bends it into the corner and that shows you what confidence he’s playing with.
"It was a crazy transfer window but I think Arsenal have got such a bargain with this man. They paid £16million and when players are going to Championship clubs for £12million, that is the bargain of the century.
"He gives you an outlet. If you look at that Arsenal side and the pace they have where they can break and counter, he’s perfect for it, he really is."
Manchester United loss, Arsenal gain
It is is most certainly a bold claim from Redknapp, and one he has made before (who remembers his early assessment of Javier Hernandez?) but there is no doubting Welbeck has the ability to become a player of repute for Arsenal.
Manchester United took the decision to sanction the sale of Welbeck after it became clear he had no long-term prospects at Old Trafford. It was something of a shame given he had been with the club since the age of 10, but there was no room for sentiment.
There was room, however, for logic but the decision to sell to Arsenal appears to lack just that. Manchester United and Arsenal share the same goals this season domestically and it should be a given that neither should strengthen the other.
Arsenal refused to sell Thomas Vermaelen to United earlier in the summer and it appeared that, in an act of equivalent retaliation at the very least, no player would move in the other direction. But, alas, this was not the case with Welbeck.
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