John Hartson has tipped Danny Welbeck to score more than 20 goals this season, commenting: ‘I can’t believe United let him go.’
The former Celtic, Arsenal and West Ham striker praised the 23-year-old for his attitude and application during games, focusing on his energy and enthusiasm in front of goal, a key trait which has certainly played a part in his solid start at the Emirates.
On the subject of Arsenal’s frontline, Hartson spoke highly of both Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez, but saved his real glowing endorsement for the former Manchester United striker, telling Goal.com: 'Welbeck was a snip at £16m. He’s an experienced England international, despite being only 23 years old. I can’t believe United let him go.
‘What impresses me about Welbeck is his temperament. He misses chances but it doesn’t get to him. As a striker myself, I never minded that.
'What frustrated me was not getting into the right positions in the first place. Welbeck will end the season with more than 20 goals'.
Welbeck has only netted two Premier League goals in eight appearances for Arsenal so far this season, along with three goals – a hat-trick against Galatasaray – in four Champions League appearances. It’s certainly a rate he will need to improve on if he is to score more than 20 goals this season.
At United, he enjoyed his best season in the 2011-12 season when he scored nine Premier League goals in 30 appearances, totalling 12 goals in 39 games in all competitions.
The year after – 2012-13 season – he was hugely disappointed, netting just twice in 40 appearances in all competitions, and despite improvement last season under David Moyes, where he scored nine Premier League goals in 25 appearances, Louis van Gaal allowed him to leave for Arsenal in the summer for a fee of just £16 million.
After a strong start at the Emirates Stadium, Welbeck will undoubtedly be disappointed to have gone five games without a goal. However, as Hartson mentioned, as long as he keeps plugging away, playing with confidence and getting into the right positions the goals will come.
Whether or not he hits the heights predicted by Hartson remains to be seen, but no supporter can fault his work-rate and desire to put the ball in the back of the net.