Danny Welbeck is back, folks.
After badly injuring his knee against Manchester City back in May and being sidelined for eight months, Welbeck made a massive statement of intent during Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Southampton in the FA Cup.
The striker scored in the 15th and 22nd minutes, and even provided an assist for Theo Walcott’s first goal of the game in the 35th.
What a pass, what a finish; Welbeck scores on his return to the starting eleven… pic.twitter.com/HJGPRaWCB7
— _ (@PhotosArsenal) January 28, 2017
Although Arsene Wenger has gradually been re-introducing the 26-year-old to first team football since he began his return to fitness, this was his first start and, despite being subbed off for Alexis Sanchez in the 65th minute, he looked sharp. Understandably, the boss is going to be cautious with the striker until he’s completely out of the woods and not in danger of hurting himself (or getting hurt by someone else) again.
Not only did the former Manchester United star score a brace, Welbeck’s passing was also superb. He made 29 passes, 25 of which were accurate. He also had three shots, two of which were goals.
What was brilliant to see was Welbeck’s on-pitch relationship with Theo Walcott, who scored a hattrick. Considering both are returning from injury and neither have played competitively together for a substantial amount of time, for them to gel so quickly and make it look so easy is impressive.
It was exciting to see a different attacking lineup which worked just as well as our usual options up front but in a different way. We’re always talking about Plan B, well this was Plan C and it paid off.