Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has admitted that he made his mind up that the time was probably right to turn his back on boyhood club Manchester United a year ago, for the sake of his career.
Welbeck sealed a shock £16 million deadline-day form Old Trafford to the Emirates after growing frustrated with not being played in his preferred position, by either David Moyes or current United boss Louis van Gaal.
The 23-year-old was at United from the age of eight and was a firm favourite under Sir Alex Ferguson, featuring 39 and 40 times in his last two seasons in charge of the Red Devils, but that didn't hold much weight with Van Gaal when he arrived at the Theatre of Dreams.
Perhaps Welbeck was a victim of his own success as a hard-working wide man, but the decision to sign for Arsenal clearly wasn't a spur of the moment call from a driven young man determined to prove himself at the highest level as a centre-forward.
Welbeck is a man on a mission
The new Gunners star shared his thoughts on why he felt he no choice but to put his career above any romantic notion of staying loyal to United with Arsenal's official club magazine, a decision which in fairness looks like the right call given his bright start to life in North London.
Welbeck revealed: "When you’ve been somewhere for so long and then you’re going to start a new chapter in your career, you’ve got to think about it a lot.
"Over the past year or so, I started to think about what’s best for me because at the time I was playing on the left wing a lot and in a 4-4-2, which is very difficult for me because I can’t make an impact on the game.
"I can play it to the best of my ability but that’s not best for the team, and I could make a bigger impact playing in my preferred position (up front)."
Fine start full of goals
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger clearly has faith in Welbeck to prove Van Gaal's decision to let the England international was a massive mistake, starting him in every Premier League and Champions League game since the surprise switch was formalised.
Welbeck has responded to the opportunity of leading Arsenal's line with a strong return of five goals in seven games, including a maiden senior hat-trick against Galatasaray.
The challenge now for the ex-Red Devils marksman is to produce that form on a consistent basis, particularly once the honeymoon period has worn off and Arsenal are fighting for precious points at the business end of the campaign.
Olivier Giroud will return in the New Year to provide stiff competition for Welbeck's starting spot, but on the evidence of the last two months the Three Lions forward as the temperament and attitude to make a success his move to Arsenal work for both parties in the long-term.
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