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
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
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

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015