This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
Back in 2014, Arsenal signed English striker Danny Welbeck for £18m from Premier League rivals Manchester United, per Transfermarkt. He had played 149 times for the Red Devils, picking up 29 goals as well as 21 assists, which isn’t the best goalscoring record for a forward, but he was still young and the Gunners felt they could get the best out of him.
He provided some great moments for the north London side, like scoring against Manchester United in the FA Cup at Old Trafford and netting a last-gasp winner against Leicester City (during their Premier League-winning season) at the Emirates Stadium. He also scored 32 goals and supplied 15 assists in 126 appearances for the club, per Transfermarkt.
Unfortunately, his biggest downfall at the Gunners was his injury record. Welbeck missed 123 games at the club due to his injury problems, which is only three fewer than the number in which he managed to play. Therefore, he could never consistently play for the club and grow into a truly reliable Premier League forward. This saw his quality deteriorate slightly and he started to be seen less as a first team player and more as a bench-warmer.
It seemed best for both parties for him to move on as he was basically surplus to requirements in his last season for Arsenal, as he only managed 14 appearances in all competitions, per Transfermarkt.
As his contract was coming to an end, the club decided to not offer him a new deal and he moved to fellow Premier League side Watford on a free transfer in August 2019. In his first season at Vicarage Road, he has played 19 times and only scored two goals.
Arsenal seem to have let him go at the right time, but he still cost the club just over £146,000 for every game that he was injured, when weighing his absences against his transfer fee. This, combined with the fact that they lost £18m on him and his modest goal record, highlights that he was not one of the Gunners’ better signings of recent years.
Arsenal fans, what are your thoughts on Welbeck? Let us know in the comments below!
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