Danny Welbeck enjoying competition for forward places at Arsenal

07 August 2017 11:23

Arsene Wenger faces a "healthy debate" to decide who will form his front-line in Arsenal's Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday, according to Danny Welbeck.

The Gunners go into the clash at the Emirates Stadium with a morale-boosting Community Shield win over reigning champions Chelsea on Sunday.

Wenger saw his side win 4-1 on penalties after the game finished 1-1, with debutant Sead Kolasinac equalising for Arsenal following Victor Moses' opening strike.

Pedro was sent off for the Blues, whose only success penalty in the shoot-out - which followed the new 'ABBA' format for the first time - was scored by captain Gary Cahill.

Arsenal converted all four of their spot-kicks to lift the trophy and start the new season in positive fashion.

Although their goal was scored by a defender, Wenger has a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal.

The club-record signing of prolific striker Alexandre Lacazette means, when his squad is fully-fit, the Frenchman can call on a number of goalscorers.

Lacazette joins Welbeck, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil as attacking options for Wenger.

And former Manchester United forward Welbeck believes that can only be a good thing for all those involved.

Asked about playing alongside new-boy Lacazette - the England international said: "He's come into the team and he's got a couple of goals in pre-season and hopefully he will when the season starts.

"It's nice to be playing with him, with the competition for the forward line now, it's a healthy debate for the manager to have and I think everyone's looking forward to the new season.

"There's always ways to improve and we will obviously sit back and analyse this game, where we were good and where we were bad and hopefully we can improve our performances and keep on getting better and better."

Welbeck limped off during the game but will be hopeful of recovering in time to face Leicester, with Mohamed Elneny also walking gingerly at the full-time whistle having been on the end of a foul from Pedro that led to the Spaniard's dismissal.

Both Sanchez and Ozil sat out the game completely, as did Aaron Ramsey, and Wenger is uncertain whether they will return to contention for the visit of the Foxes.

"I left them all out because some are short of preparation, like Alexis Sanchez," he said.

"Mesut got a kick on his ankle. It's swollen, he couldn't play. He couldn't practice yesterday. We'll see.

"He has a little chance to play on Friday night. Ramsey has a chance to play, but I think he could be short as well with a little calf problem."

Source: PA