Danny Welbeck came through the ranks at Manchester United under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. So, it would be fair to assume that the 23-year-old was special just like the crop of stars like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Paul Scholes who had preceded him. Welbeck, though, failed to live up to the expectations that were once placed upon him as a youth team product from United. Even Ferguson did not see him as a first choice centre forward even with his abundant qualities like pace and power. Betfair places Welbeck at a distant 33/1 to win the Golden Boot award this season.
The 23-year-old made a £16 million move to Arsenal on transfer deadline day. This probably ranks as one of the first transfers where all parties involved came up extremely happy. United seemed more than happy to have received £16 million for a player who was openly stated as ‘not good enough’ for the club by manager Louis Van Gaal. Arsenal, on the other hand, were delighted to have secured an England international with many years ahead of him for what they perceived as a bargain.
Welbeck, meanwhile, was overjoyed at having joined another big club along with the promise of playing in a central position. His versatility has often seen him being played in a number of positions across the pitch. Welbeck responded to Van Gaal’s comments by saying that he would score goals if he played regularly at the top. The start to his Arsenal career has not exactly set the world alight on fire. In fact, he took three games to get his opening goal. Arsene Wenger’s decision to sign Welbeck over Mario Balotelli and Loic Remy has been viewed as a master stroke by Arsenal fans and a few critics. Welbeck is seen as the next Thierry Henry despite the player yet to appear in more than 10 matches. Henry is a legend at Arsenal, but few would have expected this ascent when the Frenchman came to Arsenal as a talented but unfulfilled potential.
Wenger converted him from being a winger to a striker.
His decision to play Welbeck as a striker has also sparked comparisons with Henry. Those comparisons may not subside for quite some time after Welbeck made a huge statement by scoring the first hat-trick of his Arsenal career in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray. The Champions League match was seen as a huge test for Welbeck, who had previously missed easy opportunities when playing in this competition for United. Armed with the confidence provided by recent goal against Aston Villa, Welbeck took his chances with ease against a poor Galatasaray team.Felipe Melo was playing in defence for the Turkish club; he was constantly bullied around by Welbeck through physicality and pace. The opposition simply had no answer for Welbeck and the England international had the necessary finishing skills to announce his arrival to the Arsenal fans.Wenger will undoubtedly be happy to see his striker on song, but another Champions League match also showed that he might have come close to making a wrong decision. Balotelli was believed to be on the verge of joining Arsenal after the World Cup 2014. However, he moved to Liverpool for the same £16 million. Compared to Welbeck, Betfair places Balotelli at 50/1 to finish as the top scorer this season. Even though he has been playing regularly, Balotelli has been far from being convincing for the Premier League runners-up of last season. Liverpool’s latest 1-0 defeat against FC Basel showed the worst in the Italian international. Of course, Balotelli’s Liverpool career is not going to be judged on just one match, but Welbeck is already proving to be a much better purchase.