From crucial goals to cartilage damage, Danny Welbeck has experienced it all during his time at Arsenal.
Finally, things seem to be looking up for Welbeck, who has cemented his importance in the squad with a flurry of goals so far this season.
The Englishman’s journey in North London has been tainted by injury resulting in no guaranteed game time and conclusively no consistent place in the starting eleven. Following a number of injuries combined with the signing of Alexandre Lacazette and further Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Welbeck’s future and involvement at the club was in doubt, as he moved himself down the pecking order.
Emery's style revives Arsenal career
Unai Emery has seemingly resuscitated the striker's career at Arsenal, giving him game time which the 27-year-old has used to showcase his importance amongst the squad and too his quality.
When Arsenal announced the signing of Welbeck back in 2014, it was a signing of confusion, the club were in need of a striker but at the time many fans and others believed that he was not going to be the man to take Arsenal to the next level.
It was never the expectation for Welbeck to deliver Arsenal titles and Champions League’s, however, the role that was assumed – and assigned to him – has worked out well for both parties. From a confidence damaged ‘Bambi on ice’ figure from the shadows of Manchester United, Welbeck has grown into life at Arsenal and particularly in recent times into life under Emery.
Since Emery’s introduction to Arsenal, fans have been given a new style of play to feast their eyes on week in week out. Whilst it’s still a work in progress at Arsenal, the Spaniard’s system seems to be fitting a number of players’ strengths and styles, including Welbeck. The England striker’s main points of ability are his fitness, his stamina, and his speed, something that has given him a new lease of life playing under the guidance of Emery.
The former PSG coach’s game plan has always been the high pressing game, along with possession and a focus on counter attacking. Welbeck has it in his locker to become a starter under Emery, who as a coach is showing that he has no favourites, and isn’t afraid to substitute some of the clubs superstar's early in games.
Welbeck playing his part
Despite being a notorious goal scorer and someone with tireless energy paired with a fantastic work rate, the goals just haven’t been coming as regular as hoped for Aubameyang in the Premier League this season. With this happening, the Gabon international’s misfiring has paved the path for Welbeck to get more minutes under his belt, which so far has come as a bit of a revelation for fans and the club.
Featuring in the left-wing role predominantly this season, Welbeck has exploited his chance to show what he can do for Arsenal, no matter how many minutes he plays. Having featured in five of Arsenal’s seven Premier League matches so far, his ability and most importantly confidence seem to have been elevated since Emery’s arrival.
With more freedom on the wing, Welbeck has netted four times so far this season, taking him level as the club’s top goal scorer in all competitions.
It’s certainly the confidence boost that Welbeck needed, as well as exactly the type of reliable sharp shooter that Arsenal required. Since losing Olivier Giroud, the Gunners have been scouting amongst their resources for someone able to come on at those end of match tired leg moments to slot home clutch goals and point winners. Welbeck has done the role in the past, no one will ever forget those goals against Manchester United and Leicester City, so it was only right that the Englishman was given his time to shine.
More to come?
With the backing of his manager, there is no limit to where Welbeck can direct his time left at Arsenal, as mentioned, Emery adopts an authority in which anyone can play any match and no place in the team is concrete.
It’s not only goals that have been putting Welbeck back in contention with the first team, but his overall impressive performances too on both the left flank and in the central role.
Arsenal’s number 23 could start in their second Europa League group game against FK Qarabag, the striker already has a goal to his name in this season's competition – can he add to his tally on Thursday?