Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck justified his place in the England starting XI with a wonderful performance during his nation’s comfortable 4-0 victory over Lithuania.
The Gunners ace entered the fixture as England’s top scorer during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, courtesy of previous strikes against Switzerland and San Marino.
However, following Harry Kane’s rise to prominence and 19-goal Premier League haul so far this season, there were plenty of calls for the Tottenham Hotspur striker to be given the nod in one of the attacking roles.
Roy Hodgson had a tough choice to make prior to kick-off, and his decision to opt for Welbeck – albeit in a wide forward role – was fully justified as the Gunners star put in an excellent display.
|Goals||Shots||Key Passes||Take-ons||Touches||Pass Success %||Mins Played|
As per the table above, the former Manchester United star was heavily involved in the final third, and alongside Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling formed a deadly attacking force.
Aside from his goal late in the first period, Welbeck produced a total of five shots and two key passes as he looked to add to his already impressive goal scoring form on the international stage.
Moreover, the 24-year-old produced a remarkable seven take-ons and proved reliable in possession as he looked to break through the visitors’ deep line of defence, maintaining an 80.5% pass success rate.
Goals from Rooney, Welbeck, Sterling and Kane – 80 seconds into his debut – wrapped up a comfortable evening for the hosts and moved them clear at the top of their qualifying group with five wins from five.
Qualification is all-but certain for Hodgson’s side, but nonetheless the players will want to maintain their high standards for when bigger challenges arrive, no more so than Welbeck.
The striker sits at the top of the goal scoring charts with six goals and his regular place in the XI may be dependent on his ability to continue to find the net, such is the competition within the squad.