Danny Welbeck joins Arsenal: Former Manchester United striker on playing as a centre-forward

Some have suggested the transfer of Welbeck could turn out similarly to that of Daniel Sturridge leaving Chelsea for Liverpool

Danny Welbeck joined Arsenal from Manchester United last night in a £16m deal, but with the Gunners in desperate need of a goalscorer, some were quick to point to his goal return.

Over the last three seasons at Old Trafford, Welbeck's goalscoring record stands at 10 in 36 appearances last season, 2 in 40 during the 2012/13 season and 12 in 39 during the 2011/12 campaign.

Read more: Welbeck is Manchester United through-and-through

There is no denying it's an unimpressive record for a striker - however it perhaps doesn't tell the whole story.

Welbeck was regularly used in wide positions during his time at Manchester United, something the player himself claims didn't offer him the chances he needs to convert appearances into goals.

Under David Moyes last season, the 23-year-old was given a run of games up front, a move that coincided with six goals in nine games.

"I always knew that if I had the opportunity to play up front that I would be getting into scoring positions more regularly and I would score goals," he told Manchester United's matchday programme last season. 

Video: Transfer deadline day

"That's what I've done since I was a kid. But, previously, I was playing on the wing and you're not going to get into the same positions to score goals. I've seen people say, 'Oh, he must have been working hard on his finishing in the last few weeks', but that's not the case. I've done what I've always done but I think it's about opportunities. It's difficult to get the chances from the wing."

Read more: Welbeck completes move to Arsenal
Wenger in Rome during Welbeck deal
Venables urges Wenger to take a gamble

Welbeck went on to explain: "On the wing, there is perhaps more defending that is part of the role, especially if you're playing against an attacking full-back. You can lose a lot of your energy getting back to defend. As a striker, playing right up front, you've got more energy to burn because you're concentrating on that burst for an attacking situation – getting in behind defenders, coming short to get on the ball. You're doing a bit of everything and I feel much sharper when I've got the ball further up the pitch."

Welbeck celebrated a goal for United Welbeck celebrated a goal for United  

Some have suggested the transfer of Welbeck could turn out similarly to that of Daniel Sturridge leaving Chelsea for Liverpool. When Sturridge left Stamford Bridge, he was a player with promise who was perhaps never given the proper opportunity to impress. When he was handed that chance at Anfield he proved to be one of the most lethal attackers in the Premier League.

Interestingly, over the course of last season, Welbeck and Sturridge had the same chance conversion rate of 25 per cent.

Daniel Sturridge is considered among the best strikers in the Premier League - but that wasn't always the case Daniel Sturridge is considered among the best strikers in the Premier League - but that wasn't always the case  

With Olivier Giroud ruled out until Christmas, it is likely Welbeck will play in the centre forward role and with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla around him, chances should be aplenty.

"Once I get into the position to score – and you work on this in training as well – you get more accustomed to it," said Welbck.

"Once you're there you know what you want to do in that particular situation, and through practice over the years it comes to you more as instinct, as second nature."

Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan backed Welbeck to shine at Arsenal.

"He is still only a young player and with young players you will get peaks and troughs but it is a case of Danny feeling more important in himself than he probably was over the last 12 months," said Phelan.

"He is in a position where he can play where he wants and I think that is why he chose Arsenal because they give him the opportunity to play in his best position, which is a striker."

Suggested Topics
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness