Arsenal

Transfer Battle: Danny Welbeck vs Christian Benteke

Arsenal made it seven Premier League wins in a row after they beat Leicester City 3-1 on Monday night at the Emirates and will now be looking to make it eight when they travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace this Sunday.

And while Unai Emery will be able to call upon Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — fresh from his brace against Claude Puel’s men — as well as Danny Welbeck, Roy Hodgson will be without his first-choice striker Christian Benteke.

Unlike Lacazette and Aubameyang, though, Welbeck and Benteke were far from prolific last season. However, the two have both shown their worth at some point since joining the north and south London clubs.

Danny Welbeck

Life at the Emirates has not always been easy for Welbeck since joining Arsenal from Manchester United back in the summer of 2014.

The 27-year-old has had his troubles with injuries, while former manager Arsene Wenger often used him out wide rather than in his preferred position up front.

Under the Frenchman, Welbeck also made most of his appearances off the bench making it difficult for the England international to make a real impact in a lot of games.

That being said, when called upon for fixtures in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League, Welbeck has been able to deliver. And his overall work rate be it from out wide or when leading the line has seen the former Manchester United man become highly respected by the Arsenal faithful.

In terms of his finishing, Welbeck has much room for improvement with his goal-scoring record not the most impressive.

Nevertheless, Welbeck has still proven to be a useful squad member and one that manager Unai Emery is likely to heavily lean upon with Arsenal still competing on all fronts.

TT Grade: C+

Christian Benteke

While Welbeck has never been the most prolific of strikers, Benteke once was. At Aston Villa and Liverpool, the Belgian hit double figures in all of his seasons with the two clubs, while his first campaign as a Crystal Palace player made for similar reading.

However, Benteke has been on a rapid decline ever since with the 27-year-old only managing to register three Premier League goals in 31 appearances last term with his all-round game seeming as if it has also regressed in that time.

In truth, some of Benteke’s performances for over a year now have simply been terrible. Yet Crystal Palace somehow look a worse team in his absence, which should truly worry manager Roy Hodgson considering how bad the Belgium international has been.

Benteke is currently sidelined following surgery on his knee, but once the ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa striker returns he must improve or else the Eagles could be in serious trouble come May.

TT Grade: C-

TT Verdict:

Looking at ability, Benteke has shown down the years that he is clearly the superior No.9 compared to Welbeck.

His goal-scoring troubles, though, cannot be ignored and other than the odd bit of play where he manages to hold up the ball, he does not offer much else.

Welbeck’s presence on the pitch, on the other hand, is something that is always felt. He works relentlessly, running up and down the channels and harrying defenders on the ball, making him the ideal kind of forward for a manager such as Emery who is persistent on his team pressing high.

All in all, Benteke is starting to look like a liability to have with Welbeck being an asset, in contrast.

Therefore, the Arsenal striker comes out on top in this battle.

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