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Start Welbeck over Sanchez, says Charlie Nicholas

A fully fit Danny Welbeck should start ahead of Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal says Sky Sports pundit and former Gunners star Charlie Nicholas.

Welbeck has started every one of Arsenal’s five Premier League games this season, scoring an impressive three goals. It’s some of the best form the England international has produced in a Gunners shirt since his arrival from Manchester United, and Nicholas insists he would start the forward over want-away star Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez looked almost certain to be heading away from Arsenal on deadline day, before a proposed £60m move to Manchester City fell through.

But despite being rated as one of the best players in the league, Alexis Sanchez would not get into the Arsenal team ahead of a full fit Danny Welbeck if Charlie Nicholas was the manager.

“Playing against Chelsea last weekend, you knew Welbeck had to start in front of Sanchez,” Nicholas told Sky Sports News.

“At the moment Alexis Sanchez doesn’t fit in. Sanchez is the best player on his day but at the moment if Welbeck was fit, he starts.”

When asked if Welbeck was a guaranteed starter, Nicholas said: “Yes he is because of his pace and his movement. He’s not the most natural finisher, and he will frustrate the life out of a lot of people but he stretches defences with his pace and movement every day of the week.”

“That’s why he played him at Chelsea. There was a reason behind it. He scored two goals the previous weekend and his pace and movement helped Alexandre Lacazette, who is a proven No 9. We just don’t know how committed Sanchez is since his move to Manchester City collapsed.”

“The options Arsenal require up front are pace and movement and Welbeck gives you that. If it’s Welbeck up closer to Lacazette and then Welbeck on the left then so be it.”

“If Arsenal were to let Sanchez and Ozil go, of course they would lose a lot of talent, but is it replaceable? Of course it is. Alex Iwobi, Reiss Nelson and the other youngster have got the potential to come in.”

“It’s not as good as the two superstars but there are no guarantees for any footballer. If you are not doing the business in the big games, then you can be put on the bench.”

“The Chelsea game was an eye opener,” he added. “It was the best most balanced performance Arsenal have had in a long time. We’ve been waiting for a long time to see a performance like that and it was without Sanchez and Ozil starting.”

“It’s about playing with a bit of discipline. Iwobi didn’t play the game he usually likes to play but he was disciplined. He had to do the hard yards and that’s what Arsenal haven’t been doing with the superstars in the team. Players have to adjust to what the demands are in certain big games.”

Arsenal’s performance against Chelsea has clearly left a lot of people excited over their upcoming fixtures. There is definitely a sense that the worst is behind Wenger’s men, and that there is life after Ozil and Sanchez.

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