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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Sep 2, 2014

'Unpredictable' Danny Welbeck will improve Arsenal - Rene Meulensteen

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses Arsenal's deadline-day move for Danny Welbeck and how he can impact an offensively limited Gunners team.

Rene Meulensteen believes Danny Welbeck can become a star for Arsenal after sealing a deadline day transfer from Manchester United.

- McNicholas: Welbeck arrives, but defensive concerns remain
- Delaney: What did we learn on Deadline Day?
- Record window as Premier League clubs spend £835 million

Welbeck, 24, signed a four-year deal with the Gunners for a reported 16 million-pound fee with United bringing in Monaco striker Radamel Falcao on a year-long loan.

And former Red Devils coach Meulensteen -- who watched Welbeck progress through the youth ranks at United -- thinks Arsenal's new No. 23 can add more goals to his game to become a success for Arsene Wenger's side.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Monday before the deal went through, Meulensteen said: "Wenger's done a really good job, for both parties and also for Danny, because it's a shame that obviously he probably has to leave Manchester United.

"I'd like to say I hate to see him go, but for him it would be a fantastic move, and he's the sort of player that can really strengthen Arsenal.

"He's excellent to work with -- I've known him since eight, nine years of age so I've seen him come through, I know what kind of talent he has."

Meulensteen addressed concerns over Welbeck's scoring record -- with the striker netting just 29 in 142 games for United, including a solitary strike in 27 Premier League appearances during the 2012-13 season -- and suggested he can improve his record at Arsenal if given the time to perform.

"Danny is not an out-and-out goalscorer, and that's probably where his criticism comes from," he said. "He could probably say he should have scored more goals for his time on the pitch.

"He is a link player, he's a creator, he's unpredictable, and don't forget, he's still young. There's still mileage in him -- if he is in the right team and gets the right run of games, he would score more goals."

Meulensteen also expressed his surprise that Louis van Gaal would let an academy graduate such as Welbeck go, stating: "Like any fan it's a shame that player who come through the ranks have to leave the club."

Welbeck's game time at United looked limited following the club's pursuit of Falcao, and though Meulensteen did not expect the club to target such a player, he believes the Colombia international can be a star at Old Trafford.

"I think everybody was waiting for a really strong central defender or midfielder so when [Falcao's name] came out it was a bit of a surprise, as United has quite a good strike force already," he added.

"But let's not forget - if you look back to Falcao at his best [before his cruciate ligament injury] he was absolutely top drawer. Hopefully he has still got some of that left."

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