Arsenal

Arsenal’s £13.5m-rated star’s World Cup hopes hinge on his performance against AC Milan tonight

The Arsenal fans are feeling confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their second-leg clash against AC Milan at The Emirates Stadium this evening. 

Following a period of turmoil at the club, Arsenal appear to have turned a corner in the past week after they recorded back-to-back victories over AC Milan and Watford. The pair of results have served to ease the pressure on Arsene Wenger and restore some credibility back into a club which had become something of a laughing stock throughout the British media.

The Gunners 2-0 victory at the San Siro last Thursday arrived as a welcome relief from the negativity that clouded the club prior to their trip, but an onslaught of pessimism will certainly return with a vengeance if Arsenal are unable to finish the job this evening. Alexandre Lacazette’s injury and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ineligibility should lend Danny Welbeck (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) another chance to prove himself at the spearhead of Arsenal’s attack this evening.

In the first-leg Welbeck looked sharp and dangerous playing as a solo striker against a tough defensive unit, but signs of rustiness and a lack of confidence in front of goal were evident at times when he took aim at Donnarumma’s goal. Welbeck has never been the most naturally gifted player when it comes to finding the back of the net, despite the fact that centre-forward is his natural position.

However, his lack of goal-scoring prowess does not imply that he cannot be considered for an England call-up this summer, as he possesses other qualities which could prove to be a valuable weapon in Russia this summer. Due to a combination of injuries and intense competition for places, Welbeck’s first-team opportunities have been limited this season, so it’s vital that he brings his a-game to The Emirates tonight if he wishes to prove himself to the onlooking England manager.

At this moment in time it’s fair to say that Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are the only strikers who are guaranteed a place in the England squad, but Gareth Southgate will surely be looking to take a third striker to Russia to consolidate his forward options. Southgate will presumably take Marcus Rashford as his third option and exercise the freedom to play him on the left-side of his midfield as well.

However, Welbeck could alter Southgate’s thinking if he impresses against a quality AC Milan side for the second week running this evening, and a positive performance could also lead to further starts in the Premier League for the 27-year-old where he could enhance his case for international selection, so he must take full advantage of a rare opportunity to showcase his talents tonight.

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