Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed he thought that Danny Welbeck was going to join north London rivals Tottenham, when it became apparent the striker was free to leave Manchester United.
Recalling the exciting end to the summer transfer window which saw the former Red Devils striker move to the Emirates Stadium in a £16 million deal, the England international is pleased to have his new team-mate on board.
“I remember speaking to Danny in the England camp on deadline day and he said it was on," Wilshere was quoted saying by the Daily Mirror. "I thought he was joking.
"I was reading that Tottenham were interested and then he said that Arsenal were interested.
“As soon as he said we were interested I was telling him ‘you’ve got to come’. He gives us something different, he runs behind. Because we lost Olivier Giroud, we needed a key man."
It's true that Mauricio Pochettino was keen to take Welbeck to White Hart Lane - initially on loan - but once the 23-year-old had heard of the Gunners' interest there was only ever one place he wanted to be.
After being deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford by new manager Louis van Gaal, the striker is determined to prove that he has what it takes to become a top Premier League striker.
Wenger has certainly placed his faith in Welbeck by offering him a five-year £115,000-a-week contract, and Wilshere is adamant that Arsenal will see a return on that investment by utilising the player in his preferred central role at the focal point of attack.
“The main thing for Danny is his confidence," he added. "I said before we signed him for Arsenal he could play centre-forward and he’d score goals.
"He proved that with two in the Switzerland game and at Arsenal he’s been fantastic."
On his frustrating spell at Manchester United, Wilshere reflected: "He didn’t really get that run of games up top for Man United – to be the key man, the goalscorer.
“He likes that pressure of being the key man. If you look through the league there’s not many centre-forwards who give you that work-rate and score goals.”
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