• Premier League

Welbeck: Stick strikers on wing and see if they score goals

ESPN staff
October 3, 2014
Is Welbeck the new Thierry Henry?

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has hit back at the critics who have claimed his goalscoring record does not stand up to scrutiny.

His former manager, Louis van Gaal, claimed Welbeck had been given every opportunity at Manchester United and was sold on transfer deadline day because he hadn't been as prolific and Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

'Don't compare me to Henry'

Thierry Henry still has links with Arsenal © PA Photos
  • Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is uncomfortable with people comparing him to Thierry Henry despite manager Arsene Wenger suggesting the Frenchman was a good example to follow.
  • Team-mate Aaron Ramsey, out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury, claimed Welbeck "has everything to make himself an Arsenal legend," reflecting on talkSPORT on his "very Thierry Henry-esque goal."
  • But Welbeck said: "You can't start making comparisons like that. Henry is someone I have looked up to ever since I started playing football."

That £16 million deal has been widely questioned since and, after scoring four goals in five games for Arsenal, Welbeck told talkSPORT: "Nobody can really criticise my finishing because they don't really see me playing in a forward position too often.

"Now I am getting into these positions I want to be sticking the ball in the back of the net. I am sure it's the same with every other striker.

"Obviously people can say I have not scored enough goals, but you stick the best strikers on the wing in a four-man midfield and see if they score goals.

"If you are getting goals and getting a run of games in your preferred position, your confidence is going to grow and performances are going to grow as well.

"That is something I am really looking forward to doing, building on those performances."

Welbeck made it clear while he was United that he was unable to fulfil his potential because he was regularly used as a wide player and he has underlined the point since leaving.

He won rave reviews for his Champions League hat-trick against Galatasaray but claimed he would improve further as a result of the work Alexis Sanchez, who also scored on Wednesday, have been doing around him.

"When I am playing with these sorts of players, they are looking to slip the ball in behind. I am always ready for that, looking to make the movement right and get in behind the defenders," Welbeck said.

"I am looking to build an understanding with the players and getting to know them better. It is good to play with this calibre of midfielders, they are only going to create chances."

Arsenal head to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday out to improve on their 6-0 trashing at Stamford Bridge in March last season.

"We are a confident group and going into Sunday's game we are going to have to prepare physically, mentally and tactically well," Welbeck said. "We have got a good camaraderie in and around the group. We are all really looking forward to it and are really confident."

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