Arsene Wenger has admitted that he risked injury by playing Danny Welbeck against Everton on Saturday because Arsenal‘s title hopes are at a stage of “now or never”, according to quotes on Arsenal’s official website.
The Englishman was chosen ahead of Olivier Giroud who is going through a rough period at the moment and the former United man vindicated the manager’s decision by scoring within the opening 10 minutes against the Toffees at Goodison Park.
Wenger believes that Danny Welbeck’s return from injury has given the Gunners options in attack as he can play anywhere across the front three.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said:
“He can play on the flanks and through the middle, so I can play him with Giroud or [instead of] Giroud – that gives so many options. You cannot say you don’t miss a player of that stature for nine months.”
“I believe [he can make a difference]. I had many hesitations to play him before the game because he is still not completely over his knee problem.”
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“We have to be cautious but I pushed it because I knew this was now or never [for the title bid].”
Welbeck is currently looking a more consistent and hungrier option than Giroud. Plus, with Alexis and Iwobi out wide, crosses are going to be rare and inconsistent. Welbeck provides that sought after pace through the middle that frightens defences, while his finishing is developing and slowly becoming more consistent. He is not far from being the finished article and could provide the goods to lead the Gunners front line for the foreseeable future…Until at least we sign a prolific world-class striker.