Arsenal really needed Welbeck

Arsenal's new signing Danny Welbeck: valuable or overpriced?

London.Danny Welbeck has demonstrated well enough that he has an extraordinary talent for football. His explosive start can become a weapon for any offensive department, despite enormous speed he maintains flexibility on the ball, is game-intelligent and at times technically brilliant. “I've known Welbs for a long time. He is incredibly talented and is often underestimated, ”said national team-mate Daniel Sturridge aptly a few months ago in the Daily Mail.Arsenal have now transferred a whopping 20 million euros to Manchester United for Welbeck - appropriate? Or is it rather overestimated than underestimated?

In November, the 1.83 meter tall New Londoner celebrates his 24th birthday. He is no longer an immaculate talent, as he was when he made his Premier League debut for the Red Devils. Sir Alex Ferguson replaced the 17-year-old at the time against Stoke City, and the teenager immediately thanked him with a spectacular goal. High expectations followed from that rapid entry. Welbeck was only able to do them sporadically despite his abilities.

"He has to be measured by that"

After two loan deals with Preston North End and Sunderland AFC, he returned to United in the summer of 2011. His goal record in the Premier League since: nine goals (2011/12), one goal (2012/13), nine goals (2013/14). No brand in the double digits. Although Welbeck was often used on the flanks and had to do more defensive duties on the side, United's new coach Louis van Gaal warned - statistically right -: "He has three seasons with the professionals, but never got Wayne's quota Rooney or Robin van Persie ”, the Dutchman said loudly BBCto emphasize: "And it has to be measured against it."

With the commitment of Falcao, the competition for Welbeck in Manchester had recently taken on overwhelming traits. Van Gaal was criticized for this transfer policy by former club greats. “Of course I was sad to see as a United fan how Welbeck was given up this week,” said former midfield star Paul Scholes Independent announce. As a "local player" trained in Manchester's youth academy, the 23-year-old was able to become "a large part of United's future".

Neville astonished: Not enough money!

Like Scholes, Gary Neville was amazed. The former right-back of the Red Devils was assistant coach of the English national team and witnessed Welbeck's brace in the 2-0 win against Switzerland a few days ago. Neville pointed out loud TalkSport incomprehension not only for the sale itself: "After all the sums that were paid on the transfer market this summer and after I was allowed to work with him last week, I ask myself: Why only 20 million euros?"

So did Arsenal even get a bargain? Especially since Welbeck is probably allowed to act as a central striker at the Gunners after the failure of Olivier Giroud. "It is well known that I prefer to play in the middle than on the outside," said the offensive player after his recent two-goal gala in the national dress. "If I get to play in this position a few games in a row, I'll quickly get my best performance," he adds The Guardian now mainly on match practice.

Welbeck himself is convinced of his qualities in and around the penalty area and is also happy to reduce annoying defensive tasks compared to being on the sidelines. For that field of activity, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is considering him at least as an option. "But I see him strongest at the top," said the Frenchman fromSky Sports quoted.

Meanwhile, Giroud's injury was not decisive for the commitment of the English World Cup participant. Wenger particularly appreciates his speed and “impeccable attitude”. But is he also openly behind the considerable transfer fee?

Rent or Buy?

Initially, the 64-year-old only wanted a loan with an option to buy, but was at a charity game in Rome on Deadline Day. “If I hadn't been away, then he wouldn't be here now,” Wenger said on Thursday at a press conference with a mysterious grin about the last hours of the deal. This finally provided for a firm commitment until 2019. In order to nip all prophecies of doom in the bud that he did not want the transfer at all, the Alsatian was enthusiastic about Welbeck's facilities in the same breath: "He has the perfect style of play for a center forward."

There, in the forefront, the newcomer will act differently than Giroud, for example. He does not have the same physical presence as the French, who fought around four times as many tackles as Welbeck in the previous Premier League season - and won a good 46 percent of them. For comparison: the Englishman only won around 41 percent of his much rarer duels. On the other hand, he is superior to the French international in terms of combination play, ball control and dribbling, and also has speed advantages.

Renaissance among the Gunners?

Arsenal's style of play, which since the signing of Giroud deviated more and more from the football of Thierry Henry's era littered with speed counterattacks, could thus build on old times with Welbeck. The new man from Manchester is not your typical ball master who often acts with his back to the goal. Rather, thanks to its speed, it is predestined for highly dynamic moves in depth. Just like his youthful idol Henry once did.

It cannot be denied that the Gunners are taking a risk with such a huge amount of money. Because they are paying for a striker whose development has recently stagnated rather than noticeably advanced. In addition, they had initially sought a loan deal in London. Maybe so, too, so as not to gamble too high straight away. And of course the line between valuable and overpriced is extremely fine. But Wenger seems to have studied Welbeck very carefully and knows how and where he can use him profitably. Whether he did that on Saturday against Manchester City (from 1:45 p.m. in the Goal live ticker) will do, the coach of the gunners left open.