Arsène Wenger backs Danny Welbeck for World Cup call-up from England | Football

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Arsène Wenger backs Danny Welbeck for World Cup call-up from England | Football
Arsène Wenger backs Danny Welbeck for World Cup call-up from England | Football


Arsène Wenger says Danny Welbeck’s versatility makes him a strong candidate for England this summer and believes the forward is playing with renewed confidence for Arsenal on the back of a recall to the international stage that “reminded him he is not completely forgotten” when it comes to his country.

Welbeck has endured a largely frustrating season that has pushed to the periphery at Arsenal following the high-profile signings of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the former Manchester United striker starting 10 Premier League games in the current campaign and used more often than not as a substitute.

Recently, however, Welbeck has enjoyed a run in the team, weighed in with some important goals and looked particularly sharp. The 27-year-old has scored five times in his last five club appearances, including the goal that calmed Arsenal nerves against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday, when they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 on the night and seal their passage into the semi-finals of a competition that is keeping their season alive.

With Welbeck missing so much football through serious injuries in recent seasons, Wenger believes that the player is fresher now as a result and in the sort of peak physical condition that enables him to thrive. “Danny shows that at the moment,” the Arsenal manager said.

“For Danny it has been very good recently because he got games. He needed games and what is good with Danny is that he has a combination of power, pace and determination when he is really at his best physically. He looks like that is where he is now. Maybe he would not be there now if he had played all the games. If Danny is injury-free, he is a very good player. We spoke many times about Danny when he was regularly in the national team. He was a very good player.”

Welbeck has been a valued member of the England squad over the years and has an excellent record at international level, registering 15 goals in his 37 caps, yet he did not feature in the October or November internationals this season. Gareth Southgate, the England manager, named Welbeck in his squad for the recent fixtures against Holland and Italy, however, and everything points to the player retaining his place for the World Cup finals in Russia if he can maintain the sort of form he is in at the moment during Arsenal’s run-in.

Asked if Welbeck has taken confidence from that his England recall, Wenger replied: “Maybe. That reminded him that he is not completely forgotten because at the moment everybody is talking about [Harry] Kane and rightly so. But there is room for him [Welbeck]. If you are national coach, what for me is very interesting is that he can play wide – on the right, on the left – and central. He can play with anybody.”



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