HEAD-TO-HEAD: Danny Welbeck vs Olivier Giroud

Danny Welbeck England Euro 2012 closeup

Danny Welbeck's recent arrival at the Emirates provides real competition for Olivier Giroud, but who earns the right to lead the line for the Gunners?

Giroud V Welbeck

When Arsenal signed Danny Welbeck on transfer deadline day it was seen by many as a decent stop-gap until Olivier Giroud returns from injury. The French striker will be back come the New Year and Arsene Wenger was in desperate need of cover, but in the long run the England international could well secure a regular first team spot in a centre-forward role. 

With only Olivier Giroud to contend with, most would consider his chances far greater than if he had stayed at Old Trafford with Manchester United. Ultimately, it's a fresh start for the 23-year-old, who can now concentrate on establishing himself as a household name at the Emirates.

The head-to-head statistics weigh in the England international's favour. He may have scored fewer goals than Giroud throughout the season, but there can be no denying the fact Welbeck is the more clinical of the duo. 

  GoalsTotal ShotsShot Accuracy (%)Conversion Rate (%)AppsMins
Olivier Giroud 16 112 33.93 14.29 36 3,081
Danny Welbeck 9 46 41.30 19.57 25 1,459

Bagging once every 162 minutes - converting just under 20% of his attempts - Premier League spectators have witnessed the former Red Devil's prowess in front of goal, despite his limited game time. He scored a delightful brace in last season's domestic opener versus Swansea, before recording a further seven league strikes.

Nine goals in just 1,459 minutes is no mean feat, especially considering he was utilised on the flank in the majority of his 25 appearances. Giroud meanwhile notched 16, shouldering the responsibility for the majority of the Gunners' play in the final third. 

Welbeck’s power and pace will give Wenger’s side more thrust, which could be crucial given how flat they looked last season when missing Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey through injury. Playing as a centre-forward, he'll be in a position to utilise his best qualities - posing considerable problems as he looks to run behind enemy lines. 

  Goal AssistTotal Att AssistPass Accuracy (%)
Olivier Giroud 8 37 68.94
Danny Welbeck 1 13 87.38

Welbeck’s passing accuracy was considerably higher, nonetheless, Giroud is far more prolific in terms of creating chances. Last term, he fashioned 72 opportunities for his team-mates (1.09 chances per game), picking up eight assists. Meanwhile, Welbeck orchestrated 13 key passes, setting-up just on strike.

Giroud's injury puts him out of action for now and in his absence Welbeck will be looking to cement his place as Wenger's first choice number nine. The former Manchester United man emerges as the more prolific player and ultimately it is this factor that could see him cement his place as a permanent fixture in Arsene Wenger's starting line-up. 

Playing with quality service provided by Arsenal’s midfield, Welbeck’s move to the Emirates could yield similar results to Daniel Sturridge’s transfer to Liverpool. From a neutral's perspective, it would be fantastic to see him firing from all cylinders for both club and country.

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