Theo Walcott may have been the hat-trick hero on Saturday, as Arsenal coasted past Southampton with a 5-0 win to take them inot the fifth round of the FA Cup, but nothing can be taken away from Danny Welbeck’s triumphant return.
The former Manchester United man, who made his first start for the Gunners since May, got off to a great start when he chipped Saints ‘keeper Harry Lewis early on to open the scoring, before grabbing a second minutes later when he smartly brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long ball and slotted it into the bottom right.
Speaking after the game, manager Arsene Wenger admitted that he was surprised by just how good the England international was upon his return:
“I didn’t expect him at that level,” said the Frenchman.
“It was great to see he hasn’t lost his runs he hasn’t lost his finishing, it shows that you can turn that frustration [of being injured] into a good performance, he is a special guy.”
Wenger also revealed that there were points during the striker’s lay-off when he wondered whether or not he would make it back at all.
“You wonder if they can come back, you wonder first if he has the mental strength to come back,
“Danny worked very hard, he went through some moments of very deep disappointments [during his injury], and he became very resilient after the setbacks but he is respected in the club has worked very hard.”
The 26-year-old will be hoping to continue his form when the Gunners host Watford on Tuesday before travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Saturday.