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Arsene Wenger praises fighter Danny Welbeck after Southampton brace

Arsene Wenger has praised Danny Welbeck for his fighting mentality after his brace against Southampton on Saturday.

Welbeck scored twice as the Gunners edged past struggling Southampton 3-2 at The Emirates, taking his total for the season to nine goals.

The Englishman has missed huge parts of the last two seasons with a number of injuries, and spent 11 games on the sidelines in the early part of this campaign with hip and groin problems.

The former Manchester United striker has managed to rediscover his best form and goalscoring touch since his return to regular football after Christmas, and Wenger says he admires the 27-year-old’s determination to keep coming back.

“This guy has gone through injuries which would have questioned all of us,” Arsene Wenger told Arsenal.com.

“He responded by not talking, by working. Even when people questioned his future, he worked. When guys behave like him and are rewarded, of course you admire that as a manager. You congratulate him and you’re very happy for him.

“We are all very pleased for him because we know what he has gone through and how he recovered. I’m happy that it’s working for him, because he deserves it. If somebody deserves it in our squad it’s Danny Welbeck, and we are all very happy for him.”

Welbeck hit another brace late last month against AC Milan in the Europa League to help steer the Gunners into the competitions last eight.

Wenger’s side beat quarter-final opponents CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the first leg, and make the trip to Russia for the return fixture on Thursday evening where Welbeck is hoping he can again inspire his side to European triumph.

He said: “Obviously, with the goals… I’ve staked my claim. Going into the game on Thursday, we want to get the win and get into the next round.”

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