I’ve always been really, really bad at predictions. Whenever I do a Q&A with another blog, I don’t even remotely come close to getting the score right, and it’s just kinda funny to me how hilariously off I am about predicting game winners, scorers, etc.
When Danny Welbeck signed for Arsenal, way back in 2014, I was really excited. I like his kind of player - fast, nimble, able to get into scoring positions seemingly reflexively - and was convinced that a change of scenery would get him to be the goalscorer I thought he was capable of being - the year prior to his leaving United, he scored 10 in 36 appearances (9 of those in the Premier League), and I figured a new coach, a new system, and a new environment would propel him to being a 20+ goalscorer in his first season, and a 15-20 goal guy after that.
In his first season at Arsenal, Welbeck scored eight goals, he scored nine in his next two combined (in a total of 25 appearances over those two seasons, thanks to knee injuries), and last year he scored 10 in 43 appearances. So, thanks to injury and recovery time, it’s fair to say that Welbeck hasn’t panned out the way I’d hoped - he is in no way a disaster, but he’s not scoring goals, which, to be fair, is his job.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have significantly bolstered their attacking corps with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, so the news today that Everton are kicking Welbeck’s tires, as it were, doesn’t come as a complete surprise - on any list with those three, Welbeck is probably third, and if he’s like every other ambitious 27 year old footballer, he’ll want to be somewhere where he’s option one.
I would be sad to see him go - I still believe that 20 goal scorer is buried in there somewhere - but if this becomes a thing, I totally get it. Just as with his move to Arsenal, a move to Everton might be just the kick in the pants he needs to, if not get to that 20/season tally, at least be regularly healthy and in the 10-15 goal range.
Much more to come on this as Unai Emery refines his squad between now and the end of the English transfer window on August 9th.