Danny Welbeck can become the new Thierry Henry hints Wenger

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Danny Welbeck can become the new Thierry Henry according to Wenger (©GettyImages)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes summer signing Danny Welbeck has the potential to develop into the new Thierry Henry. The French coach hailed the England international, who joined from Manchester United on the final day of the transfer window, after he netted his first Gunners' goal in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Wenger feels Welbeck needs to rediscover his goalscoring instinct after spending the last few seasons playing out wide at Old Trafford - and believes Henry is the perfect role model for the 23-year-old, who cost the Gunners £16 million.

Henry, who Welbeck looked up to growing up, joined Arsenal as a winger in 1999 and went on to score a magnificent 228 goals for the north London outfit after being converted into a centre-forward by Wenger.

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Wenger: Welbeck should follow Henry's lead

Now Wenger hopes that Welbeck can follow in the Arsenal legend's footsteps.

“Thierry is a good act to follow,” Wenger told reporters. “I think Danny has an interesting potential and let’s see how he develops.

“He has a good mentality, good physical potential, technical potential, he contributes to our team play because he doesn’t lose the ball up front and those are important qualities.

“He rushed a bit his finishing until now because he didn’t score.

“It is more a nervous problem maybe because in training he scores goals like a real striker.

“He is a good finisher."

Welbeck off the mark for Arsenal

Welbeck was relieved to get his first Arsenal goal at Villa Park after missing a host of chances to score in his first two Gunners' appearances against Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

Welbeck also provided an assist for Mesut Ozil, but Wenger wants the forward to spend most of his time converting chances from inside the penalty area.

"I think as well he has played at Manchester United in the position wide the last two or three years, never through the middle," the veteran French coach added. “Then you lose a little bit that instinct to score.

“And you lose that pressure which is animalistic – you need to always be in the middle and wait for your chance to kill the opponent.

“On the flank you have less of that responsibility. He did a different job up and down.

“When you play on the flank you have to cross the ball for someone to score.

“When you play in the middle someone has to cross the ball for you to score. It is a different job.

“But when you play in different positions you learn always.”

Wenger: Welbeck doesn't need to become selfish

However, Wenger was reluctant to say that Welbeck needed to become more selfish in order to become more like Henry, who is regarded by many as the Premier League's greatest ever player.

“Selfish is a word I don’t like, it is just to get that instinct," he added. “I like a striker who gives the ball when he has to give the ball and scores when he can score.

"The fact he can provide and can score like against Villa for me is very important.”

Welbeck will continue playing as Arsenal's first-choice centre-forward until Olivier Giroud returns from injury. The France international is not expected to return until January, by which point Welbeck may have made himself indispensable in the Gunners' first team.

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