It is mystifying that, despite all his drawbacks – injury problems, poor form and lack of quality relative to English football’s elite – Danny Welbeck remains an Arsenal player.
The former Manchester United striker was signed in 2014 to add more firepower and fulfill his undeniable potential he showed as a youngster: sadly, that objective has not been achieved in nearly four years of waiting.
He has not kicked on from his early promise and is stalling on the development. He doesn’t score enough, misses too many chances and can’t lace the boots of other players at Arsenal’s rivals. Nobody can say what he offers to the club, and will find himself further down the pecking order following the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
No one seems to know his best position, whether as a striker or a winger. He has the skill set to play consistently but at his age, perhaps the club should count their losses, sell him and buy a better player. He gets injured on too many occasions and doesn’t look anywhere the quality an Arsenal player should have. He may not even make the substitutes bench of the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.
The three main metrics on which attacking players are judged are successful dribbles, key passes and goals – all per 90 minutes. Welbeck ranks 90th, 140th and 59th respectively in the list of 234 players who have played in an attacking position in the Premier League this season.
Theo Walcott, who was allowed to join Everton, has shown glimpses of quality at Goodison Park and is currently faring better than Welbeck on all three of the above statistics.
Wenger was open to letting Walcott go given that he has plans to play for England at this summer’s World Cup, but he should have instead let Welbeck leave. He is not good enough, simply put.