Danny Welbeck explains decision to leave Manchester United for Arsenal

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Football News

Arsenal fans can be forgiven for forgetting about Danny Welbeck. The striker has yet to feature in the current campaign and is not expected to do so until the new year.

A troublesome knee injury has kept him out since April and left him in the shadows as his Arsenal team-mates continue to impress in the Premier League.

But this time last year he was the talk of the town; two towns, in fact. Welbeck had started life with the Gunners in fine form after completing a shock £16million transfer from Manchester United on the final day of the transfer window.

Having been given a chance to play as a striker, Welbeck repaid Arsene Wenger with a hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League and had also overtaken Daniel Sturridge in England manager Roy Hodgson's pecking order.

It left those in London comparing him to Thierry Henry and those in Manchester questioning the sense of Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward to sell him. The one thing neither United or Arsenal fans were wondering, however, was why Welbeck wanted to leave.

The 24-year-old had only hours to choose whether or not to join one of United's main rivals, but he has admitted that thanks to the presence of several England internationals in Arsenal's squad, it was an easy one to make.

He told Arsenal's official website that the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, and Calum Chambers have helped him feel at home in strange surroundings.

Here are the quotes

“Knowing the England boys from international duty and growing up with them in the youth teams made it easy. They integrate you into the group a lot easier with the other lads as well.

“It was a new challenge but it was an exciting time for me to approach a new situation, move from Manchester to London and all of the stuff that goes with it.

"It was a whole new city, not completely new as I’d been to London before, but it was weird knowing that I was going to be calling London home and not Manchester.

“The thing that you miss the most is your family and that’s the most important thing. A lot of my family and friends do come to London to see me anyway. They come to all the home games so I get to see them quite a lot anyway.

"But I was leaving something that I knew after growing up in Manchester, coming to a new city, it’s an exciting period.”

The return

Welbeck will have to compete with both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott when he eventually returns to full fitness and may face a bigger fight than you may think.

Walcott offers raw pace to Arsenal while Giroud offers an equal measure of strength. Slower than Walcott and weaker than Giroud, Welbeck offers a middle ground between the pair, possibly making it a struggle for Wenger to fit him into the set-up.

Of course, Welbeck can earn himself a place with good performances, but will he get the chance to impress?

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