Unai Emery made the surprising admission that Danny Welbeck trained at left-back on Friday, as the club go through a minor crisis in the position ahead of Sunday’s match against Manchester City.
Confirming that Welbeck is set to remain at the club for the 2018/19 season, Emery praised the striker’s versatility, before revealing the Englishman’s major position change in training.
“Danny has multi-position possibilities – right winger, left winger, striker,” he said. “And, yesterday, he worked with us at left back. His performance was good!
“I like this positive spirit to help. I’ve said to him I want the best performance in his career, with better quality and data – more goals, more assists.”
Though the comments sent some Arsenal fans on social media into a frenzied panic, there’s no real cause for concern.
Firstly, Emery has already confirmed that Welbeck will be a bit short for the Manchester City match. He’s not going to be making a left-back debut against the league champions.
More importantly, Welbeck was filling in during the training sessions because Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal have been out injured, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles can’t play for both teams in training. Someone had to take up the role, so it may as well be a player building fitness with no chance to start at the weekend.
This will most likely be the first and last time we ever hear about Welbeck playing the position. Arsenal fans love a good unnecessary meltdown though.
Regardless of all that, it’s good to hear Welbeck is making a positive impression, and hopefully he can live up to Emery’s expectations this season.