Danny Welbeck to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s uncovering of the next Daniel Sturridge or a complete bust of Kostas Mitroglou-to-Fulham proportions? It’s hard to say.
Until Wenger reveals his positional plan for the man they call Welbz and that man does (or doesn’t) perform, the only thing we can deal with in judging the move is Rafa Benitez-style facts:
Fact 1. Arsenal needed a striker as much as United needed a defender on deadline day. Olivier Giroud is in the treatment room and Yaya Sanogo is just too raw to be heavy relied on.
Fact 2. Welbeck’s goal record reads like that of a right-back rather than a central striker, having never scored more than nine goals in a season and notched once in 29 games during the 2011/12 campaign.
Fact 3. Now the 12/1 title chances are content with spending big in the transfer market, there were plenty of strikers with a better record for goal-scoring than Welbeck’s measly offering that ended up at other clubs this transfer window:
Ciro Immobile – One season’s worth of results aren’t the biggest sample size to judge by, but the Italian’s 22 Serie A goals for Torino before switching to Borussia Dortmund this summer is two better than Welbeck’s career output at United.
Josip Drmic – Young and mobile, the Swiss international seemed a perfect buy for Wenger, who was often linked with a move for the player this summer. 17 strikes in 33 Nurnberg appearances led to Bayer Leverkusen snapping him up.
Mario Mandzukic – With Robert Lewandowski’s Bayern Munich switch a long-time coming, the Croat – who scored 33 league goals in just 54 games for the Bavarians – could have been snapped up with ease. Unfortunately Atletico Madrid did just that.
Diego Costa – His World Cup wasn’t great, but his career record generally is and Chelsea are already reaping the rewards from his talents.
Michu, Demba Ba, Loic Remy Samuel Eto’o and Mario Balotelli – A quintet with Premier League experience that either went abroad or to a rival.
Romelu Lukaku – Has scored five less goals in two Premier League seasons than Welbeck has in his entire career and is now at Everton.
Javier Hernandez – An available Man United striker? Perhaps Arsenal picked the wrong man as Hernandez – an omni-sub – has 37 Premier League goals.
Radamel Falcao – Costa aside, the Colombian’s goals-to-appearances figures are among the most revered in Europe yet he ended up on loan at United.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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