Danny Welbeck is set to make his first start in five weeks when Arsenal play Cologne on Thursday, with Arsene Wenger confident the injury-prone forward can still make England’s World Cup squad.
“Danny has potential to go [to the World Cup]. If he’s fit, he will go, I’m convinced of that,” Wenger told a news conference on Wednesday. “I would say that for me he is a striker who has a top physical quality, good movement, and a team player as well.
“He can score goals, he can provide, he can play through the middle, on the flanks, I believe he is a top class striker. And on top of that he’s loved by everybody in the squad, a fantastic guy on top of that, loved by everybody.”
“It is a big year for [Welbeck], but I want it to be a big year for him for Arsenal. As a consequence of that, the best way to go to the World Cup is not to think ‘I have to prepare for the World Cup,’ it is to do well for club and automatically you are in the national team,” Wenger said.
The Arsenal boss pledged to field an experienced team for the Europa League clash, which is expected to also include the likes of Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Debuchy, Olivier Giroud and Mohamed Elneny.
“Well, we have an experienced team. Overall I believe that you will see that every single player has a big experience in the Premier League,” Wenger said. “We have brought some young players as well who have played in former games and done extremely well, like Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson.
“Overall I believe we have a good mix between experience and young players.”
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