Everton Opinion: Danny Welbeck could solve a lot of problems for the Toffees
According to London Evening Standard, Everton are in pole position to land Danny Welbeck on a free transfer from Arsenal in the summer transfer window, with the 28-year-old’s contract at the Emirates set to expire in a month’s time.
Evening Standard understands that Welbeck is back in full training after undergoing surgery on his right ankle last year in November and is expected to travel to Baku to play a part in the Europa League final against Chelsea.
Everton, however, are not the only club to have been linked with the out-of-contract England international, with Evening Standard reporting that Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and Wolves are also interested in securing his services for free.
The same source claims that Everton are prepared to offer him a hike on the current £100,000-a-week that he earns at Arsenal, although the 28-year-old wants guarantees over first-team opportunities, as he looks to force his way back in the England set-up ahead of Euro 2020.
Welbeck played a bit-part role in Arsenal’s first-team under Unai Emery this past season before being sidelined with a severe injury, although he still managed to chip in with 5 goals in 14 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions.
A youth product of Man United, Welbeck spent six seasons in the first-team at Old Trafford, where he accumulated 29 goals and 21 assists in 142 appearances for the Red Devils.
The versatile forward made his move to Arsenal back in the summer of 2014 for a fee of £16 million and has established himself as an important squad player for the Gunners over the years, registering 32 goals and 15 assists in 126 appearances.
Welbeck was once tipped to be one of the biggest stars in the Premier League but he hasn’t realised his full potential yet, with recurrent injuries and inconsistencies being the major stumbling blocks in his career. However, the 28-year-old still boasts of an impressive strike rate, and certainly an eye-catching profile, having featured extensively for the likes of Arsenal and Man United.
The 28-year-old, who has 16 goals in 42 international appearances for England, is noted for his pace, power, drive and determination, although his versatility to play in multiple positions across the final third continues to be one of the biggest assets in his game.
Essentially a centre-forward by trade, he has also featured as a wide forward or a winger on either flank, meaning that he is capable of scoring as well as setting up goals.
As fast, sharp and agile striker noted for his lightning pace, quick feet, acceleration and tactical command of the game, Welbeck not only has the ability to rip defences apart with his pace, power and work-rate but he is equally adept at holding up the ball to bring others into the game.
The Englishman is very strong in the air and has the awareness and instincts of a natural finisher, although he has a habit of squandering opportunities at times.
To put things into perspective, there is always an element of risk involved in signing a player like Welbeck given his long history of injuries but bringing him in on a free transfer shouldn’t do Everton much harm.
In fact, a versatile and dynamic player like Welbeck perfectly suits Marco Silva’s philosophy and the Toffees could bag a massive coup if they manage to beat off competition for the 28-year-old.
A new striker should be high on manager Silva’s wishlist for the summer, with Cenk Tosun misfiring and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not delivering the goods often enough. The manager can also do with some reinforcements at right-wing, given that Theo Walcott largely underwhelmed with his performances this past season.
And that is exactly why Welbeck, with his versatility to play on either flank and lead the line, should be a good signing for Everton. They would probably need to bring in another No.9 to build a formidable unit but Welbeck could be an excellent addition to the squad on a free transfer.
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The England international has a wealth of World Cup, Premier League and Champions League experience, which should make him an indispensable asset to any side chasing a spot in Europe next season.
Hence, the Toffees would take a step closer to securing European football by bringing the 28-year-old to Goodison Park this summer.