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Such Nice Things to Say: The Pundits Weigh In on Welbeck

Want to feel better than you already do about the Welbeck move? Read these observations!

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Michael Regan

You know by now that Radmael Falcao heading to Manchester United allowed Danny Welbeck -- suddenly looking at a lot less playing time in a red Chevrolet jersey -- to head to Arsenal. You also know, if you were watching the Twittersplosion yesterday, that a lot of Arsenal haters were having some merry guffaws at our expense, thinking that Welbeck didn't compare to the superheroic, world-beating, all-everything Falcao. But some respected voices in the English media, doing their post-window pundit duties, like the move for Arsenal, and said so.

First, let's go to Amy Lawrence of the Guardian, one of the best at covering Arsenal anywhere, elaborating on the best-case scenario that some have already arrived at -- that he has a career-rejuvenating move similar to Daniel Sturridge, who floundered at Chelsea before flourishing at Liverpool. She says:

The arrival of Welbeck offers a pacy alternative to boost a forward line that has looked underpowered while Alexis Sánchez adapts to a new role in English football and Yaya Sanogo ineffectively fills in for the injured Olivier Giroud. Arsenal’s supporters had made their feelings clear after watching attacks fizzle out at Leicester on Sunday, with entreaties to sign a striker. That player turned out to be the 23-year-old Welbeck, who it is hoped will emulate the renaissance experienced by Daniel Sturridge when he left the Chelsea periphery for a central role and the responsibility he relishes at Liverpool.

Jeremy Wilson, writing for the Telegraph, sees Welbeck's arrival as part of a new Wengerian trend of building around a core of young British players, and observes:

Welbeck certainly fits Wenger’s profile. He is the ideal age, he is versatile in providing options across the front three positions and he is British. That last point is surprisingly significant just now at Arsenal. After Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie all left, Wenger very consciously decided to rebuild his squad around a core of young British players. The thinking, quite simply, was that they were more likely to show loyalty to his project than signings from abroad.

Hence the faith that has been shown over recent seasons in both good times and bad to Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The signing of Calum Chambers also reflects this strategy. None of this is to say that Wenger will not supplement his group with overseas talent but it is a deliberate strategy to build around a more local group who will hopefully all want to reach their potential together.

Over at the Daily Mail, Adrian Durham was positively effusive in his praise for Welbeck, stating:

If you’re one of those people who simply adds up a tally of goals and decides if a player is good or not, then Welbeck isn’t for you.

But if you analyse the game with more depth, then you see the worth of Welbeck. Sir Alex Ferguson admits in his book that he ‘used’ the striker for a variety of different roles in the team, and that policy had a detrimental effect on Welbeck’s goals total

Fergie knew he could trust him to do a job for the team, whether it was as a striker, or on the left, or even closing down Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso in the Champions League, a job Welbeck did to perfection, until a ridiculous red card for Nani ruined Sir Alex’s final European campaign.

As a professional, Welbeck is exemplary. If you want someone to do a job and sacrifice himself for the team, he is the man.

He’s full of self-belief too, which is no bad thing.

And finally, someone who knows United (and wearing the #23, at least in the U.S.) -- one David Beckham, had this to say to BBC Sport:

Arsenal have a very good, young talented English player. To see him leave Manchester United is sad. He had been there since he was eight and his heart was in Manchester.