Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger reveals deal would not have happened if he was in London on transfer deadline day

Wenger made the bizarre claim at his press conference today

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Arsene Wenger said this morning that his being out of the country on deadline day was the secret behind his signing of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United.

Arsenal completed the late signing of Welbeck at the very end of deadline day, and the England striker is set to make his debut against Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

Wenger was proud of the signing of Welbeck, and said this morning it only happened because he had to get up early that morning to fly to Rome. “If I had not travelled that day, Welbeck would not be here,” Wenger said.

“The coincidence made that because I was on my way [to Rome]. If I stayed at home, Welbeck would not be here today. That's the truth.”

“We are in 2014 and you can always be in touch with everybody even when you travel. The advantage of that day was I had to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and I was available the whole day.”

Welbeck arrived on a £16m permanent deal, after Arsenal had initially pursued a loan move for the striker with an option to buy. He is likely to have a long run in the team as a centre forward, with Olivier Giroud out for the rest of 2014 with a broken leg.

“Danny Welbeck is an ideal signing for us because he can play through the middle, where I think is his best position but [he can play] as well on the flanks,” Wenger said. “His qualities are his team-attitude and his pace as well. As you could see with England; his goalscoring.”

Aaron Ramsey will be assessed today after returning from international duty with an ankle injury while Mikel Arteta, Kieran Gibbs and Mesut Ozil should all be available on Saturday.