Charlie Nicholas has said that Danny Welbeck must start if he’s fit, even if it means benching Alexis Sanchez.
Welbeck has benefited from Alexis’ absence so far this season.
With the Chilean searching for full fitness after returning late to training, Welbeck was given the opportunity to start games in the Premier League.
It was an opportunity he took, scoring three goals in five games.
Charlie Nicholas feels that Welbeck’s pace and movement are beneficial to Arsenal, and make him a better option than Alexis currently.
“Playing against Chelsea last weekend, you knew Welbeck had to start in front of Sanchez,” Nicholas told Sky Sports News (via The Daily Star).
“At the moment Alexis Sanchez doesn’t fit in. Sanchez is the best player on his day but at the moment if Welbeck was fit, he starts.
“He’s not the most natural finisher, and he will frustrate the life out of a lot of people but he stretches defences with his pace and movement every day of the week.
“That’s why he played him at Chelsea. There was a reason behind it.
“He scored two goals the previous weekend and his pace and movement helped Alexandre Lacazette, who is a proven No 9. We just don’t know how committed Sanchez is since his move to Manchester City collapsed.
“The options Arsenal require up front are pace and movement and Welbeck gives you that.
“If it’s Welbeck up closer to Lacazette and then Welbeck on the left then so be it.”
You’d have to go some way to convince people that Welbeck is a better option than the man who scored 30 goals last season.
Welbeck does offer something different to the Arsenal team, but lacks of the raw quality in the final third that Alexis possesses.
Given the choice between the two, one would have to go with Alexis despite the risk of him not being fully committed to Arsenal.
That choice has been taken out of Wenger’s hands due to Welbeck injuring his groin against Chelsea.
He’s set to be out until mid-October at the earliest, meaning Alexis should come straight back into the starting eleven.
If Alexis performs well in that time, it’d be difficult to justify leaving him out again, harsh as that would be on Welbeck.