Louis van Gaal will be hoping he won’t be eating his words this weekend when Arsenal take on Manchester City. If he’s not, we’re sure Wayne Rooney will eat them anyway.
During the week the controversial Dutchman branded new Arsenal man Danny Welbeck as not being good enough for Manchester United, and said that he had made up his mind to sell him even before getting Falcao on loan. That’s ‘good enough’ for a Man United side who lost 4-0 in the League Cup to MK Dons and struggled to create chances against newly promoted Burnley.
According to van Gaal, Welbeck, ‘Doesn’t have the record of Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney. And that is the standard.’
After scoring a brace for England last week, Welbeck will hoping to continue his current run of form at the Gunners and prove his critics wrong at a ‘top four’ club. Here are five stats from the 2013/14 league season to suggest that he isn’t far off the standard LVG was implying.
1. Danny Welbeck (nine) may have scored the least amount of goals between himself Rooney (17) and RVP (12) last season, but he also started the least amount of games. Taking into account his average goals per 90 minutes of football and he isn’t too far off the leading men despite spending a lot of time coming off the bench or playing out of position. Maybe anchoring down a regular starting place at Arsenal in a more suited position is all he needs?
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2. He was the most fouled out of United’s strike force last season, with over triple the amount of fouls suffered per 90 minutes than RVP. Welbeck gave defenders a torrid time last year and was brought down on average twice every 90 minutes. Unlike Ashley Young, his legs don’t crumble like soggy biscuits at the slightest hint of contact either.
3. Welbeck isn’t selfish either and had the highest passing success rate of the trio with 87 per cent accuracy. That’s the kind of stat Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and co will enjoy reading and will ultimately lead to plenty of key passes and assists.
4. Danny Welbeck also has a work rate not seen since Frankie Cocozza’s drug dealer. Last season Welbeck was nearly on par with Wayne Rooney when it came to successful take-ons per 90 mins with 1.3 per game, far more than Robin van Persie who had a lacklustre 0.85.
5. Throw into the mix that Welbeck very rarely loses the ball due to a mistake or poor control – just 40 turnovers last season compared to Rooney’s 46 – and you have a player who, with some solid game time and a bit of confidence could light up Arsenal’s attack this campaign.
Giroud is out nursing an injury so Danny Welbeck will look to solve Arsenal’s attacking problems and you can get him to score first against the champions on Saturday lunchtime at 7/1. He’s also 11/5 to open his Arsenal account at any time against Man City or you can have a punt on the 9/2 that Welbeck scores at any time in an Arsenal victory.