Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has revealed Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge as the inspiration for his move to the Emirates Stadium.
Welbeck hasn’t held back from criticising Manchester United after his £16 million transfer to North London and says watching Sturridge succeed at Liverpool played a part in his decision to leave.
“I looked at Sturridge, who played down the right and left at Chelsea, and saw how successful he was through the middle,” said Welbeck during an interview before last night’s live ITV coverage of England v San Marino.
“It was similar to my situation and I wanted that – I always wanted to be a striker..”
Welbeck has been used exclusively through the middle of the Arsenal attack, grabbing headlines when he bagged a hat-trick against Galatasaray in the recent Champions League clash.
At United, he was used off to the left, with Louis van Gaal defending the decision to sell him by suggesting he didn’t have the same record as Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney.
Welbeck was faced with a situation where he could have stayed at United and played behind those two players as well as new signings Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria.
That would have left his first team chances severely restricted unless he showed the boss that he was willing to switch to a new position, which he clearly wasn’t willing to.
Sturridge was similarly critical of his previous clubs when he joined Liverpool, suggesting that the Reds were the first team to give him a consistent chance to play through the middle of the attack.
Even when Luis Suarez was at Anfield, Sturridge was used centrally and his decision to move has been justified now that he’s the first choice striker at the club.
Welbeck has a long way to go before he can be considered a great Premier League striker and signing for Arsenal but he’s off to a good start.