STRIKER Danny Welbeck insists he is straining at the leash to occupy the centre ground and escape the shackles of an unselfish past when Arsenal host reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at the Emirates tomorrow.
The 23-year-old has endured consistent flack for an indifferent goalscoring record during his time at former club Manchester United after netting 29 goals in 142 games.
But after the Gunners splashed out £16m on transfer deadline for the hitman, Welbeck believes the scoring form he showcased for England against Switzerland on Monday can become the norm rather than the exception.
“Once I get into the box and get the opportunities I have got faith in my ability,” said Welbeck.
“Before I wasn’t getting into the box because I wasn’t playing too much as a striker and I had to worry about defensive work. Once I get the opportunity and a run of games up front I will do my best.”
One man not convinced by Welbeck’s striking credentials is new United boss Louis van Gaal, who sanctioned the sale of one of the club’s homegrown talents.
But the Dutch tactician, who still awaits his first win since taking the Old Trafford reins, is adamant Welbeck cannot be mentioned in the same breath as the striking threats he now has at his disposal.
“Danny Welbeck had been here since he was nine years old, but after he came back from Sunderland, he does not have the record of Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie and that is the standard,” said Van Gaal.
“And we now have Radamel Falcao. In training he has one chance and it is a goal and that is why we had to let Welbeck go.”