Danny Welbeck joins Arsenal: Should Arsene Wenger select deadline day signing Welbeck or Olivier Giroud once he returns?

Welbeck will have a prolonged run with his new club to show why Wenger should stick with him as his striker when Giroud returns from injury in January

Arsenal finally bowed to the growing pressure from their fans and made a transfer deadline day move for former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck, landing the England international for £17m on the final day of the transfer window.

The deal, which was not announced until 1am this morning after the Gunners were given an extension to land the 23-year-old, sees Arsene Wenger add another striker to the current options of Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo. Summer signing Alexis Sanchez can also lead the line of attack along with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, although the latter is currently sidelined alongside Giroud through long-term injuries.

It was the loss of Giroud until 2015 through a broken tibia that led to Arsenal moving for Welbeck late yesterday evening, with the striker conveniently in London already as he trained with the rest of the England squad ahead of Wednesday’s international friendly against Norway.

Welbeck will be tasked with replacing the Frenchman until he is fit again for selection, where Wenger will then have a serious question on his hands; where does he play Welbeck?

 

The answer the question, we compare the two players and how they have fared in the Premier League since making their respective debuts.

Welbeck made his United league debut in 5-0 thrashing of Stoke City back in November 2008, getting on the scoresheet to ensure it was a Premier League bow to remember. He was limited to just 10 other appearances following the win – eight of which were domestic cup games – although he go on to score two further times to suggest that he stood a good chance of reaching his potential.

The following season saw a solid run in the United first-team squad before heading out to Preston North End on loan in January, although his spell at Deepdale was cut short after he required surgery on a knee injury that ended his season in March.

Video: Transfer deadline day

A season-long loan with Sunderland failed to produce the fireworks that were hoped of Welbeck, as his time with the Black Cats yield just six goals in 29 appearances, although a double in the 2-2 draw with Everton stood out as a particular highlight with the north-east club. Welbeck remained with United for the entirety of the 2011/12 season as he looked to breakthrough under Sir Alex Ferguson’s guidance.

Read more: Arsenal secure late signing of Welbeck
Parlour wanted Arsenal to move for Cavani
Welbeck joins while Wenger refs in Rome

The 2012/13 season signalled not only Welbeck’s standing as a United player for the future, but also the arrival of Giroud at Arsenal as he joined from French side Montpellier. While Welbeck was rotated between playing as a striker and out wide on the left wing, Giroud was tasked with replacing departed club captain Robin van Persie, who was now on the books at Old Trafford alongside Welbeck and thus keeping him out of the starting line-up.

Giroud struggled for consistency in his debut year with the Gunners, but managed to score 17 goals in all competitions as he made 47 appearances, giving him a strike rate of a goal every 2.6 matches. In comparison, Welbeck made 41 appearances for United, but most saw him come off the bench and he only notched two goals for the club in a season that yielded three goals for his country.

Last time out, Giroud finally found his feet at the Emirates, as he led the way for the North London club with 22 goals for Arsenal in 51 matches that also saw the club end their nine-year wait for a trophy in the form of the FA Cup. For Welbeck, he featured somewhat regularly under new manager David Moyes, and rewarded the faith shown in him by the inevitably doomed Scot with 10 goals in 36 appearances.

Giroud suffered the injury against Everton Giroud suffered the injury against Everton The prospect of the pair playing as a two-pronged strike-force is not a no-go decision for Wenger, but with the wealth of talent he has in his attacking midfielders, he would have to upset some big names to do so. That could mean that once Giroud is fully recovered and, providing Welbeck hasn’t stated his claim to make the first choice striker berth as his own, ready to return to the side, Welbeck could end up being shifted out wide once again.

Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski tend to grace the left flank more often than others, but Welbeck’s defensive qualities in his high work rate and solid tracking back would strengthen the Gunners in an area where they have looked a touch weak in the past – particularly when Nacho Monreal is at left-back.

The thought will not cross Wenger’s mind for some time though, with Welbeck set to lead the line of attack until the New Year at least. Sanogo has shown nothing in his short Arsenal career to suggest he deserves to start ahead of Welbeck, and the England star can expect to be named in the starting line-up when the Premier League returns. It’s sure to be a true test of Welbeck’s abilities though, as his debut will be against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk