Giroud v Welbeck - Do these stats prove Wenger will drop former Manchester United man?

Giroud Celebrates

With Olivier Giroud set to return from injury ahead of schedule, is Danny Welbeck's place in the Arsenal side at risk?

The news that Olivier Giroud's comeback from injury is ahead of schedule will no doubt please a lot of Arsenal fans.

But there is one man who stands to lose out.

Arsene Wenger has already warned that £16 million striker Danny Welbeck could be moved to the wing - where he used to play for Manchester United - to accommodate for the Frenchman.

But, with Alexis Sanchez in such form and Theo Walcott yet to return from injury, is Welbeck at risk of being dropped completely?

 2014/15 Goals/GameAssists/GameChances Created/GameDribbles Won/GameAerial Duels Won/GameAccurate Crosses/GameShots On Target/GameAppearancesMins Played
Danny Welbeck 0.25 0.13 1.63 1.13 1.75 0.13 0.88 8 570
 2013/14 Goals/GameAssists/GameChances Created/GameDribbles Won/GameAerial Duels Won/GameAccurate Crosses/GameShots On Target/GameAppearancesMins Played
Olivier Giroud 0.56 0.44 1.67 0.44 5.33 0.11 1.22 9 774

As Opta stats show, Giroud's form for the Gunners during the same period last season was far superior to Welbeck's so far this term.

Granted, there were other factors affecting the comparison, such as the fact that the 23-year-old only joined Arsenal from Man United in August, while Giroud had already previously been in north London.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman averaged both more goals and assists per game during his start to last campaign. He also created slightly more chances and averaged more shots on target per game. In the air, Giroud is also a convincing winner, while Welbeck's only area of real triumph comes in the dribbling department.

In terms of crossing, meanwhile, the England striker is only marginally better than 28-year-old Giroud. So would moving him out wide make sense?

Based on the statistics, it looks as though the Frenchman should be Arsene Wenger's first choice over Welbeck all day everday. The young forward will no doubt take solace, however, from the fact that Wenger can now rotate strikers for the first time in years, meaning both are likely to get games.

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