The Arsenal supporters in the Transfer Tavern were pleased by their side’s activity in the January transfer market last month, but they are concerned that they could take a step backwards by renewing the contract of Danny Welbeck in the near future.
Despite the fact that Arsenal lost both Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud to rival Premier League clubs in January, the mid-season window was generally considered a success by the resident Gunners propping up our bar due to the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The aforementioned pairing have highly impressed the supporters in patches since they arrived at The Emirates, and the early signs suggest they should be destined for a bright future in North-London.
The arrival of Aubameyang has served to drop Danny Welbeck (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) further down the pecking order at the club. However, despite the presence of both Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal are set to offer Welbeck a new contract this season according to reports in The Daily Mail.
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The report cites Wenger’s appreciation for Welbeck’s ability to play in wide positions as one of the main reasons to keep him at the club, as clearly it will be difficult for him to force his way into the first-team as a striker considering the level of competition. Although Wenger’s opinion is based on sound logic, his quality to play out wide in comparison with the Premier League’s top players, combined with his dismal record with injuries suggests that he should avoid offering Welbeck a contract extension.
Wenger needs to ask himself if he truly believes that Welbeck can match the standard set by the likes of Heung-Min Son, Leroy Sane, Anthony Martial, Willian, and Sadio Mane who regularly play out wide for the clubs competing in the Champions League. The honest answer to this question is no, and therefore there is no way that Wenger can justify offering Welbeck a new contract – unless of course, he is willing to settle for Europa League football in the future.
Admittedly, there was a time when Welbeck appeared to be developing into a genuine Premier League talent who was worthy of a first-team place in a top-four club, but those days feel light years away now and it’s unlikely that he can replicate that form after struggling with various injuries. With these points in mind, it would certainly be a backwards step and a foolish decision to offer Welbeck a new contract this season.