Welbeck ready to step up in attack

LONDON • Competing against Arsenal's top two record signings - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette - may be a daunting task, but Danny Welbeck believes he has what it takes to lead the line for the Gunners.

Welbeck enjoyed a productive outing in Arsenal's 3-2 Premier League win over Southampton on Sunday, scoring two goals and earning praise from manager Arsene Wenger for showing signs of his best form following three injury-hit and inconsistent seasons.

The England international had been expected to take a back seat to Lacazette and Aubameyang, who is ineligible to play in the Europa League, but Welbeck suggested that he could dovetail with the pair.

"As you've seen, I can play with Pierre and with Laca," Welbeck told British media. "It is nice. It gives you that added motivation.

"The competition is there so you are going to improve. It is healthy."

The 27-year-old will likely play a key role in the final stretch of Arsenal's season after Henrikh Mkhitaryan suffered a knee-ligament injury in the 4-1 first-leg win over CSKA Moscow in their Europa League quarter-final last week.

According to The Sun, the Armenian winger's injury will rule him out of the rest of the Gunners' season unless they reach the final in Lyon on May 16.

"We all wish him a speedy recovery. Obviously, with the goals... I've staked my claim. Going into the game on Thursday, we want to get into the next round," Welbeck added, ahead of the return leg against CSKA today.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2018, with the headline 'Welbeck ready to step up in attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe