It is no secret that Arsenal are losing several players this summer. While Aaron Ramsey‘s departure to Juventus is the most painful for fans, losing Danny Welbeck on a free would also hurt the club. He is an experienced, versatile striker who is on reasonable wages and qualifies for homegrown status.
Danny Welbeck: Arsenal Should Offer Striker New Deal
It is easy to forget just how much Danny Welbeck has done in his career. Welbeck made his Manchester United debut in 2008. Since then he has made 206 appearances in the Premier League between the Red Devils, Sunderland and Arsenal, netting 42 goals.
He has won the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup once each, plus three Community Shields and one Club World Cup. Danny Welbeck has also worked alongside the two greatest managers of the Premier League era: Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
While his career will not go down as one of the best-ever in top-flight history, all of these experiences would help not just him but also each and every one of his teammates. He would be a calming veteran presence in the dressing room.
Danny Welbeck is also relatively flexible when it comes to positioning: he can play as a lone number nine, alongside a strike partner, as a wide forward, or on the wings. While he likely won’t get many minutes as an out and out striker with the presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette at the club, this versatility would get him minutes somewhere.
This is especially true under a manager such as Unai Emery, who changes systems regularly, sometimes even during a match. Additionally, Arsenal will need squad depth to compete on four fronts next season, and Welbeck can if nothing else provide that.
If Danny Welbeck does stay at Arsenal, it would also help with youth development. The squad is lacking in the wide forward area and next season they could be forced to use young players to fill the gaps.
As crazy as modern footballer’s wages have become, Danny Welbeck’s are relatively reasonable. The striker earns £70,000 per week at the Emirates Stadium. While the club would have to negotiate, Welbeck would likely agree to similar wages.
Perhaps the club would have to give him a raise of some description, although it wouldn’t be terribly large. This is especially true considering he is coming off of a serious injury instead of a full and productive season.
Plus, Arsenal would not have to negotiate a transfer fee. While the club should have a respectable amount to spend in the summer, they have a number of needs in the squad that must be addressed.
Saving a few million on a Welbeck replacement would aid in the capture of defensive help and a backup goalkeeper, plus negate the need for a wide forward.
Arsenal currently meet the minimum for homegrown players in the squad. They have eight such players on their 25-player Premier League roster. However, with Ramsey leaving the club next season, the Gunners will need at least one more homegrown talent in the team.
Should Welbeck leave, Arsenal would have to recruit two new homegrown talents. While the club can replace both with academy graduates, that may not be the best for their development.
Many have little to no first-team experience, so shouldn’t be relied upon to contribute regularly next season. Keeping Danny Welbeck would give the club a more flexible policy with youth players.
Arsenal would certainly benefit from keeping Danny Welbeck. The only real stumbling block would be the player himself.
If he stays at the club, Welbeck would rarely start ahead of Aubameyang and Lacazette, at least in the league. He would get similar wages to what he’s currently on elsewhere, even outside the top six sides. He is also 28 years old and will probably want guarantees about his play time. After all, if a player doesn’t play at 28, when will they play?
Ultimately, the decision will be down to Welbeck. Does he want to continue as a small fish in a big pond? Or would he like to seek pastures new? Until an official announcement by either the player or club, we are left to speculate.
However, it would be unwise for Arsenal not to offer Danny Welbeck a new contract.
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