Danny Welbeck has been a useful option for Arsenal over the years.
Since the signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, he has been 3rd choice striker. The best 3rd choice striker in the league.
But as Arsenal move forward into the new era, the likes of Danny Welbeck, as with Jack Wilshere before him, need to move aside. Make way for the next generation who have the potential to be better.
Last summer we let Wilshere go on a free transfer and signed Matteo Guendouzi. Losing a teenager superstar of yesteryear and gaining one of the best teenage central midfielders in Europe.
The decision to not renew Danny Welbeck’s contract is the same mentality.
Even if Welbeck had not picked up his recent injury, he still would have been released in the summer. The truth is, he has served his purpose, and his salary and squad place can now be better spent elsewhere.
He rarely plays as a striker – in the last 2 seasons he has started just 2 games upfront.
With Arsenal only playing 1 up top, it would take injuries to both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for him to get a start.
The only time he has played consistently as a striker in the last two seasons is in the Europa League and League Cup.
Next season, if arsenal make the Champions League, it will be the first XI in Europe. That would further reduce the “striker minutes” available to Welbeck. It leaves just the League Cup.
For a while now a lot of fans have been clamouring for Eddie Nketiah to get minutes. In 2019/20, Nketiah should be our striker in the League Cup. This would mean that Welbeck would be relegated to 4th choice striker, not even starting up top in the Europa League.
The majority of his Arsenal career he has played on the wing, rarely first choice.
Arsenal need to sign a new first choice winger over the next 2 transfer windows.
Alongside the returning Reiss Nelson, who has been in fine form in Germany, this would relegate Welbeck in the pecking order to start out wide.
Already behind Aubameyang, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan, Nelson and a new signing would leave Welbeck as 6th choice winger. And that isn’t taking into account playing Mesut Ozil out wide.
Welbeck would not get a look in for Premier League games. Just 148 minutes played in the league this season. This would be further reduced next season with a new wide signing and Nelson returning.
Just where would Welbeck get game time?
He would need Arsenal to have a serious injury crisis, or be left playing League Cup games (at the sacrifice or Emile Smith Rowe or Joe Willock).
The reality is, at 28 years old and on £90,000 , Welbeck has become surplus to requirements.
He is not good enough to be a regular starter, and we have youngsters coming through with more potential that need to start getting more minutes.
In the summer, if we can secure someone like Anthony Martial, it would be ideal.
Martial would come straight into the first team on the left, but could also be back up to Aubameyang and Lacazette in case of injury.
For years Arsenal fans complained about paying average players big money.
Sven Mislintat bought in Lucas Torreira on £50,000 a week. Imagine what he could do with the £90,000 Welbeck is set to free up?
With Aaron Ramsey also set to be on the way out, that frees up £200,000 a week in salary.
That would allow Arsenal to go big in the summer. Buy a truly world class winger. Someone that would walk into the side on the left wing. And then could also cover the 2 men up top, or cover Ozil as a number 10.
Losing the likes of Wilshere and Welbeck should not be criticised.
Arsenal are looking forward, not backwards. Buying better than what we have, and improving the team.
Welbeck has been a decent player during his time at Arsenal, but that time is no up.