Danny Welbeck Close to Becoming Arsenal’s Next Gervinho


Oh Danny…

Poor Danny Welbeck has all the makings of the perfect striker: size, pace, physicality, technical skills. It’s all there for him. But he just can’t put the ball in the net.

We knew this “supposed attribute” when Arsene Wenger signed him, but given the right opportunity and a couple goals, the flood gates were supposed to open. That hasn’t been the case.

With an opponent like Middlesbrough, Welbeck had a golden opportunity to steal the show and get some confidence brewing, not only for himself, but for Arsene Wenger and his team mates. He failed in both regards.

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According to WhoScored.com, Welbeck was the worst player on the team, not including Wojciech Szczesny, who was only bad because he had nothing to do. According to our ratings at Pain in the Arsenal, he was the worst player on the team, not including subs.

And who can argue?

Welbeck does literally everything right up until the final moment (sounds like Gervinho). He has unbelievable pace and can widdle his way though the opposing defense with relative ease (sounds like Gervinho). But then it’s him against the goalie and instead of letting the goalie beat him (which also happens), he beats himself (we are talking about Gervinho right?).

The primary example of this against Middlesbrough was on a fast break down the right wing. Welbeck blazed past the defense and was on track for what should have at least been a shot on goal. But he chipped it literally more away from the goal than towards it.

Welbeck attempted just two shots in the match and both were off target.

It must be incredibly frustrating for the Englishman, but it’s something he desperately needs to sort out. Welbeck rocked the rest of the statistical categories. He had a 91.3% pass completion percentage and was only dispossessed once, yet he still held down the lowest rating on the team.

‘Missed chances’ isn’t a stat, but if it was, Danny Welbeck would own it.

Every match, Welbeck is on the doorstep of two or three goals and every game he comes away with none (well, not every game – Galatasaray).

It’s painfully reminiscent of Gervinho.

Gervinho used to be able to dribble through the opposition like they weren’t even there, much like Alexis Sanchez. However, unlike Alexis Sanchez, after getting through the opposition, Gervinho would forget which way was up, have a conniption, black out and – to put it nicely – fail.

There’s still time for Welbeck to find his scoring boots for Arsenal. He’s a consistent goal scorer for the England national team, yet he’s only put up four Premier League goals in 16 appearances for Arsenal.

Comparatively, here’s a look at how Welbeck’s attacking statistics stack up against some of Arsenal’s best so far this year (and Gervinho circa 2012/13). Given play time differences, the stats are per 90 minutes of play (Squawka).

[table id=16 /]

He’s not scoring. He’s not assisting. So how can he make a case for continued playing time? As you can see, his chances created and shots are on par with the rest, but he just isn’t scoring.

I threw Gervinho’s last season (2012/13) at Arsenal in there as well, and as you can tell, even he produced more results than Welbeck, which should a scary thought for Welbeck, seeing as how Gervinho was dealt after just two (unsuccessful) years with the Gunners.

Welbeck still has time to turn it around but something has to give. It doesn’t make sense that someone with the raw talent of Danny Welbeck can’t score.

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Next: Arsenal vs Middlesbrough Player Ratings