Danny Welbeck offers Arsenal huge potential

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As the news filtered through that Arsenal had indeed signed Danny Welbeck for around £16million, in Great British Bake Off terms, I felt a large sprinkling of shock mixed with a dash of hope.

That hope was that Welbeck could prove the doubters wrong as Arsene Wenger made a rather big transfer gamble on deadline day.

The initial surprise of the move has subsided, but it is still definitely present. Not due to any lack of ability on the striker's part - more that Wenger signed a young English player with Premier League experience.

Young British core

This is a pig flying across a blue moon scenario for 'The Professor' at the Emirates Stadium.

Anyone can see that he is moulding the current Arsenal squad around a core of young British players including Gibbs, Chambers, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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None of them, however, came with Premier League experience, a symptom of relishing the challenge of creating superstars and not just buying them. The difference between proper home-cooked grub and a gourmet ready meal, if you will, is that buying in is ultimately not as satisfying.

Despite the Dan bashing that has come into vogue recently, the conversion rate in his maturing England career is a solid 10 goals in 28 appearances. His club form has wavered, without consistent play, but the potential is obvious.

Fan favourite?

He has a thirst for the game, highlighted by his bustling and cajoling against the man mountain that is Vincent Kompany. The unpredictable dynamism and vigour in his efforts will surely make him a fan favourite and provide an as yet lacking variety compared to the robust movements of Olivier Giroud and the telegraphed mechanical jerks of Yaya Sanogo.

Link up play is a major role for any striker nowadays, especially in a top team with the playing ethos of Arsenal. Giroud does very well at bringing midfielders into play, although there is no substitute for a pure goal scorer.

I believe that Wenger will try to mould Welbeck into just that - in similar fashion as he did with Thierry Henry. He too had been favoured on the left wing for his then club Juventus, as Welbeck had been with the Red Devils. I imagine that the Arsenal boss would be happy if the position switch was half as successful as with The King of Highbury.

Finishing must improve

Welbeck’s main weakness lies in his tendency to find himself in incredible positions and not reap the main benefit out of them. He succeeded in baffling Joe Hart with a chip but unfortunately not the post.

The following week, when put through against Dortmund with a cute reverse pass by Ramsey, he fluffed his lines again. These types of moments can leave viewers with a receding/greying hair line and screaming 'DANIEL!' at the screen. Full first names are reserved for football fans in despair…or parents telling off their kids.

The silver glint of this chink in the armour of Danny’s game is that he is getting himself into the right positions, so with confidence and training he can improve the final decision for the Gunners. That was clear when he peeled off the back of Ciaran Clark land side footed into the roof of the net from Ozil’s on-the-button cross.

North London derby

His intelligent movement will keep getting him in goalscoring positions while getting him out of selection battles with Mr Sanogo. At just 23, there is definitely hope for the striker yet.

There’s few better times than the North London derby to change your nickname from ‘Wel-wide’ to ‘Wel-in’, and this could be the Arsenal summer signing's time to shine. This gamble could well pay off over time.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Danny Welbeck
Premier League

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