Danny Welbeck is back in full training for Arsenal.
Truly these are words that most of us probably never thought we’d type. Rumours that Special Agents Mulder and Scully were going to be assigned to investigate the nature of Welbeck’s knee knack as their first case back ultimately proved to be wide of the mark.
However, the England’s international’s nine month absence felt like it could have easily been due to an alien abduction or a, er, shadowy shadow government type organisation.
Maybe I’m overthinking it.
I suppose there may be a school of thought that Welbeck’s return has, ironically, perhaps come at a less than great time for the player who had a bit of an underwhelming first season at Arsenal. I write that fully conscious that I went full mental on Danny’s hat-trick against Galatasary.
Unfortunately those three goals in ninety minutes were added to just five times across another 26 starts and seven substitute appearances. Welbeck’s return now coincides with the return to the first team of Alexis Sanchez and the emergence from the shadowy shadows of Joel Campbell.
Not to mention the fact that Olivier Giroud has been pretty impressive of late.
That said, whilst we can see the value the three men named above add to the first team, it would be fair to say that the same is not true, at least currently, of players like Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Now, whilst I have faith that both players will return themselves to the heights we know they are both capable, I don’t see a downside to being able to call on Welbeck instead of the two Southampton graduates.
Of course, it’s going to take Danny some time to get himself back to 100%, but for me, his pace and work rate makes him a very enticing option to have on the bench over the next few weeks.
I wonder too, what will happen in the centre forward position now.
The squad has been stretched to the point that Olivier Giroud has had exclusive rights to the centre forward berth for months now; the Theo Walcott experiment all but abandoned, despite some spectacular results earlier this season.
We also know how Welbeck’s arrival spurred Giroud on last season.
Does Welbeck’s return now resuscitate the possibility of Theo playing through the middle?
Does Welbeck himself become the competition for Giroud?
Interesting questions. I can’t wait to see how they’re answered as we hurtle towards season’s end.