Arsenal managed to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup with a convincing victory over Southampton, avenging their exit from the EFL Cup earlier in the season. Arsene Wenger decided to make several changes to the side, providing an opportunity for some of the squad players to show what they can do and they certainly made the most of their chance. Danny Welbeck scored twice, while Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick on his return from injury. Southampton were on a high after reaching the EFL Cup final earlier in the week, but Arsenal were excellent and the home side couldn’t compete.
This provides a good opportunity for Arsenal to get a trophy as lots of Premier League clubs have fallen out of the competition, including Liverpool. The FA Cup has been a good competition for Arsene Wenger and he will be keen to win it again this season, but it won’t be his main priority as he must focus on the league and the Champions League. The FA Cup also gives Wenger a chance to play his squad players and as they showed in this match, they are ready to make their mark when they are given a start.
The Arsenal manager discussed Danny Welbeck’s performance during the match and stated his surprise at the level of performance that his striker delivered. He has suffered from injuries in recent seasons and it was great to see him get back on the scoresheet at the weekend. The England international scored twice and was a threat throughout with his movement.
“I knew that he worked hard but you never know how that will transfer into a competitive game.
“It was great to see he hasn’t lost his runs, he hasn’t lost his finishing. It shows when you are able to transform that frustration of not playing into efficiency, that’s a special guy.”
This is high praise indeed from his manager and Welbeck’s performance showed that he still has something to offer to Arsenal this season. He will have been behind Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez, and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order, but he will have improved his first team chances with this display. Welbeck does have something different to offer and his versatility will be useful for Wenger. Although he isn’t a key player for the club, he will be happy with his performance and to be back on the pitch.
The Mail are reporting that Arsenal could be ready to join Manchester United in the race for Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann. The Gunners failed in an attempt to sign him during the summer and could now be ready to go in again at the end of the season. Manchester United are seen as the favourites for his signature, but Arsene Wenger is well respected and Arsenal will provide real competition in the race to sign the Frenchman. It will take a significant bid to land Griezmann as he has a contract with the Spanish club until 2021.
This would be a signing that sends a statement that Arsenal are once again big players in European football, especially during an uncertain time when it looks like two of their best players may leave the club. Griezmann could be an excellent replacement for Sanchez if the Chilean doesn’t extend his contract. However, it would be an extremely difficult transfer to complete, especially given the competition they would face. Arsenal haven’t brought in a player at the top of the sport for a long time and Griezmann would certainly qualify as that.
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