Search

Exclusive: Gunners Double winner backs England striker to be a hit at Arsenal

07:15 12 September 2014

England

England's Danny Welbeck celebrates with team-mate Rickie Lambert after scoring his side's second goal of the game

EMPICS Sport

England hero Danny Welbeck is preparing to make his Arsenal bow against Manchester City on Saturday – with one former Gunners striker urging fans to give him time to find his feet.

Double winner John Radford admits he is “really happy” to see the Mancunian frontman – who netted both goals for his country in Monday night’s 2-0 win in Switzerland – come to the Emirates.

But Radford, 67, says it is too early to comment on what the new arrival will bring to the side.

“It won’t do us any harm whatsoever getting the lad into the club,” said Radford.

“He is a fine striker, with pace, strength and good technique, so he is someone who can do things for us. I mean, you don’t play for a club like Manchester United for no reason at all, do you?

“But to really judge what he is going to do for us, we have to watch him for a few weeks before we can make a proper assessment on that score. We all have to be patient.”

That said, Radford – who netted 149 goals for the club between 1964 and 1976 – regards the £16m man’s arrival as positive news, because the Gunners have needed reinforcing up front for a while.

“Oh aye, we have strengthened because, at the very least, we now have competition in the centre and have a guy who can replace Olivier Giroud while he is injured,” added Radford, who formed a prolific strike partnership with Ray Kennedy in the 1970/71 Double winning season.

“I have said it before – we have sometimes been a little too light up front in past seasons, but now we have very strong cover up front, whoever sits out, and Welbeck certainly gives us another outlet.

“Will he start on Saturday against Manchester City? I don’t know – you’ll have to ring Arsene Wenger as he is the only person who will know for sure.”

And Radford also believes the Gunners boss will be a positive influence on Welbeck, who netted 20 goals in 90 appearances for United before his shock move south on transfer deadline day.

“Welbeck is young and he will improve, particularly once Wenger gets hold of him on the training ground and starts to work with him,” added the Yorkshireman, who made 475 appearances for the Gunners.

“These are exciting times for the club and the lad.”

Just two days before Welbeck arrived, the Arsenal boss seemed reluctant to buy anyone, saying: “If we buy somebody, somebody will go because we have too many players. We have too many strikers.”

That said, in most observers’ eyes, Arsenal have signed the forward on the cheap – with Louis van Gaal already facing a backlash from some United fans angered at the club’s decision to sell a promising striker who came through the Old Trafford youth system.

United legend Bryan Robson said this week: “At the last minute, Danny went to Arsenal and I thought that is the one move I would not have done.

“You know what Danny is like on a football pitch. He’ll give everything and I think it’s a great signing by Arsenal.”

But can Radford see United’s beleaguered boss regretting his decision to offload Welbeck to a rival?

Radford laughed: “I couldn’t care less. If it bites United on the bum a little, then so be it…”

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 15:06
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll (left) has praised Rob Fahrenheim (right), who hit 96 against Teddington on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego

New signing Rob Fahrenheim led a much-improved batting display from North Middlesex – but the Crouch End outfit suffered their second successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 07:10
Middlesex's James Franklin bowling.

Middlesex all-rounder James Franklin fears the new County Championship toss rule is stifling the competition and generating “attritional cricket”.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Dominique Janssen went close with a last minute free-kick in Arsenal Ladies' 0-0 draw with Birmingham. Pic: Sylvester George

Dominique Janssen hopes Arsenal Ladies’ Wembley triumph will give them the self-belief to challenge Chelsea for the Women’s Super League title.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson

Middlesex’s bowlers will make former skipper Chris Rogers their top target when he returns to Lord’s with Somerset this weekend, according to Ollie Rayner.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (centre) celebrates putting his side ahead against Aston Villa

How do you define a good season? Or more importantly a poor season?

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Great Britain's Jo Pavey won the 2014 European Championships and will be aiming to qualify for her fifth Olympics when she competes in Highgate Harriers' Night of the 10,000m PBs at Parliament Hill on Saturday

Olympic dreams will be realised and dashed on the Parliament Hill athletics track on Saturday night as Britain’s top 10,000m runners battle it out for seats on the plane to Rio.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham managers

Archant correspondents Ben Kosky, Ben Pearce and Dave Evans discuss the 2015/16 Premier League season

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Islington Under-11s with the Kay Trophy

Billy Osborn scored two goals and set up another as Islington Under-11s beat Camden 4-2 to clinch their first Kay Trophy since 2003.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe