Signed from Manchester United, an England regular, a rounded footballer: write off Danny Welbeck at your own peril.
Olivier Giroud has been taking a lot of stick lately, some justified, some unfair. In fact, he’s had a pretty good season.
Olivier Giroud now has a goal/assist every 128 minutes this season.
Diego Costa: 128
— Lewis (@LGAmbrose) April 30, 2016
There are obviously issues with his play, though. He isn’t world class and while the idea that Arsenal can’t win the league with him playing regularly is nonsense, the club could find players more suited to the team.
Giroud isn’t the quickest and really struggles to stretch teams, who know he won’t hurt them in behind. Even though his movement is intelligent, he lacks the speed to really concern a back four.
The movement Norwich couldn’t handle on Saturday came from Danny Welbeck, who came off the bench to strike the only goal of the game.
As Arsenal moved the ball around in the build-up to the goal, Welbeck was constantly moving into space, ready to collect possession. When the ball fell to him, courtesy of a lovely cushioned Giroud header, he struck decisively.
It was Welbeck’s fourth Premier League goal of the season since his comeback from a 10-month knee problem. It was the third of those to give Arsenal the lead in a game.
Welbeck is very quick and also has good movement: important traits Theo Walcott shares. He is also constantly on the move, something Walcott could learn from.
Where Welbeck really differs from Walcott is his physical presence and his general intelligence. He makes runs and passes to bring others into play, he is a threat aerially and he can hold defenders off. Giroud can also do those things but, as we’ve touched on, he just isn’t very mobile.
Danny Welbeck isn’t a world class striker but you don’t need one to win the league. Talented as he is, Mario Mandžukić is not world class yet led the line as Bayern Munich won the treble in 2013.
Welbeck is very good at a lot of things and Arsenal have world class stars in Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil.
If they play in a system that can use the most of their talents, they can lead the Gunners to glory. Welbeck can help them do that and has just about enough of everything to be good enough to head into next season as Arsenal’s first choice striker.
Signings a ready-made world class player is tough but have a little patience with the Mancunian and we may just find out we have what we need in the final third already.