‘Welbeck is sharper and more assertive’

Arsene Wenger says Danny Welbeck is mentally sharper and more assertive in his finishing.

The Arsenal forward returned from a 10-month lay-off with a dramatic winning goal against Leicester City on February 14 and scored against Manchester United, Watford and Everton before the international break.

Welbeck has shone for England too and Wenger believes the 25-year-old has stepped up a level since his return.

“I agree that he’s sharper,” he said. “I think it's not physical, it's mental. He looks like he realised he has to add something to his game.

“Maybe he was frustrated as well to be out for the first time for a long, long period. It has loaded his mental determination. Before he looked not certain of his game when he came to the finishing but now he looks much more assertive in his game.

“Danny has all the qualities you need in the modern game. He has pace, he has stature. If he adds that finishing quality he has all you need.

“It is a bit unusual [to improve as a finisher at Welbeck’s age], but I have seen it before, especially from players who moved from the flanks to the middle.

“We have seen that with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang now at Dortmund, he was a very poor finisher on the flank. We have seen it with Thierry Henry. Hopefully we will see it with Welbeck as well.”

Welbeck is likely to be called up to England’s squad for the European Championship in France, and Wenger thinks Roy Hodgson has an embarrassment of riches in the forward positions.

“I believe when you look at England’s potential up front, in a period when all my scouts tell me travelling across Europe that they do not find strikers or any central defenders… when you look at England: Rooney has not played, Sturridge, Welbeck, Kane. They have absolutely unbelievable potential,” he said.

Danny Welbeck England

Danny Welbeck in action against Germany


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