Arsene Wenger believes Danny Welbeck can become Arsenal’s next Thierry Henry after scoring his first goal for the club against Aston Villa at the weekend.
The €20 million signing from Manchester United netted in the 3-0 victory at Villa Park, while also setting up Mesut Ozil’s goal with an incisive through ball.
Wenger praised his summer signing in the aftermath of the match and has now urged Welbeck to follow the example of the club’s record goalscorer Henry, who was transformed from an underperforming winger into a clinical finisher and went on to score 228 goals for the Gunners.
"Thierry is a good act to follow," Wenger said.
"I think Danny has an interesting potential and let’s see how he develops.
"He has a good mentality, good physical potential, technical potential, he contributes to our team play because he doesn’t lose the ball up front and those are important qualities.
"He rushed a bit his finishing until now because he didn’t score.
"It is more a nervous problem maybe because in training he scores goals like a real striker. He is a good finisher."
Wenger has also blamed Manchester United for deploying Welbeck on the wing, insisting that he "lost a little bit of that instinct to score" at Old Trafford.
"I think as well he has played at Manchester United in the position wide the last two or three years, never through the middle," he added.
"And you lose that pressure which is animalistic – you need to always be in the middle and wait for your chance to kill the opponent.
"On the flank you have less of that responsibility. He did a different job up and down.
"When you play on the flank you have to cross the ball for someone to score.
"When you play in the middle someone has to cross the ball for you to score. It is a different job.
"But when you play in different positions you learn always."
Wenger also claims he has no interest in Welbeck becoming a selfish striker, and has praised his ability to both finish and create chances.
"Selfish is a word I don’t like, it is just to get that instinct," he added.
"I like a striker who gives the ball when he has to give the ball and scores when he can score."