Arsenal legend Martin Keown has backed Danny Welbeck to take on the mantle of Thierry Henry after his impressive display against Galatasaray in the Champions League.
The England centre-forward made the switch to the Gunners from the Red Devils on transfer deadline day with questions hanging over his ability to convert chances. However the youngster responded with a mesmerising hat trick against the Turkish giants.
The former defender thinks the striker is starting to show what he can do and under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger could become a real force up-front.
According to the Daily Mail, he said:
Well, it’s only one game but Welbeck has certainly made a good start. I was doing the commentary last night and I could see lots of similarities, particularly with the way he finished.
It took Thierry four seasons to get a hat-trick and Danny has one after five games. But once Henry started scoring he couldn’t stop. Henry scored so many beautiful goals, beating countless players and tucking it in the net. One of his favourite finishes was to run off the last defender, run around the ball and tuck it in the opposite corner. Sound familiar? It was his stock finish and if Welbeck can get anywhere near that level of consistency he will prove an excellent signing.
What we haven’t yet seen from Welbeck is the ability to beat half a team. Henry did that against the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool and obviously there is a long, long way to go before Welbeck can think about hitting the heights of Henry.
But this is a classic Wenger situation. Having worked for him, he is the kind of manager to give you so much self-belief and that’s evident with Welbeck. He was immediately talking about repaying the manager’s faith and there is a feeling that with Wenger you play to win, but there’s always a bit extra – you are playing for someone you really enjoy working with. It’s so natural the way he treats his players and show them that respect, so Welbeck will be enjoying that. He is a manager who brings the best out of you.
What’s interesting now is that at the top of the team Arsenal have a man who they can give the ball to and he can do the rest. Olivier Giroud will increase firepower when he returns but he’s much more of a link player, strong in the air and relying on runs from midfield to support him. Now with Welbeck, the Arsenal team can put him in and he’s away.
Henry is the shadow under which all subsequent Arsenal forwards have laboured and it’s not at all helpful to put Welbeck anywhere near him. The second goal last night may have looked like the archetypal Henry finish but that’s really incidental, what made the Frenchman truly great was not the way in which he scored goals, but when and where he did so.
Welbeck will now be filled with confidence heading into this Sunday’s game with Chelsea which is the kind of fixture in which comparisons can actually be made and this will be the acid test of this transfer, that’s what would actually make him Thierry Henry-like.
What do you say Gooners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.