Welbeck v Mandzukic: Who's had the best start to the season?

Mario Mandzukic Bayern

Comparing Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck with Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic.

Prior to Mario Mandzukic's move from Bayern Munich to Atletico Madrid, he was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal.

The Gunners were in desperate need of a new quality front-man and, seemingly on his way out of the Allianz Arena, the Croatia international was seen by many as the perfect option.

However, Mandzukic ultimately replaced Diego Costa at Atletico while Arsenal moved for Alexis Sanchez and - in the final throes of the summer transfer window - Danny Welbeck.

So how does the England international's early-season form compare with that of Mandzukic?

Welbeck's outstanding performance against Galatasaray on Wednesday evening transformed the impression of him as a potential Arsenal striker.  The former Manchester United forward's hat-trick proved emphatically that he can become a prolific front-man if given time and opportunity.

His three-goal haul means Welbeck now has four for the season, compared with Mandzukic's two for Atletico. The Arsenal player also has one more assist than the Croatian, who is yet to set up a goal for a teammate since his move. 

  GoalsGoal AssistKey passes per gameScoring attempt per gamePassing AccuracyDribbles per gameAppearancesMins Played
Danny Welbeck 4 1  0.86  3.14 84%  2.57 5  436
Mario Mandzukic  2  0  0.8  1.8  59.5%  0.4  6  461

Welbeck also outperforms the older striker in every other area above, with the Arsenal man averaging slightly more key passes per game and considerably more scoring attempts and dribbles.  

Mandzukic also has a pass accuracy of just 59.5 per cent compared with Welbeck's 84 per cent.

In short, the Arsenal player is outshining his more illustrious goal-scoring counterpart for now, and his latest performance suggests he could have well and truly found his feet after completing his shock move on transfer deadline day.

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