Welbeck could be used on the wing, warns Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Danny Welbeck that he is not guaranteed to play as a central striker due to the return of Olivier Giroud from injury, the Guardian is reporting.

Giroud is in contention to play against Welbeck’s former club Manchester United on Saturday, having recovered from an ankle injury several weeks earlier than originally expected.

The Frenchman is only deployed through the middle, and with Wenger preferring just the one up front, it is likely Welbeck will have to drop back alongside the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla in order to keep his place in the starting XI.

The 23-year-old has regularly stated since his move from Old Trafford that he joined Arsenal to have the chance to play in his preferred role through the middle, and while it remains to be seen how he will react to being asked to play in a wide position, Wenger believes that the England player would simply be delighted at gaining regular first-team football.

He said: “One of the main reasons [for Welbeck signing] was that he wanted to play. It was not a condition [to play as a central striker], it was just that he plays. You can have outstanding goalscoring records from players who play wide or central – that is not the problem. When you are a player, you want to play.

“I don’t think playing on the flanks will stop him from scoring. He had chances the other night [in the Scotland game] when he played on the left. With his pace, [Cristiano] Ronaldo played all his life on the flanks and scored more goals than games he played. I don’t think that will stop Welbeck. What is a problem for him is to play.”

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