Wenger: Why two-goal Arsenal hero won't start against Watford

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Arsene Wenger has hinted that Danny Welbeck may not retain his place for Arsenal’s game against Watford on Tuesday evening- despite the forward excelling on his return to the starting lineup in the 5-0 FA Cup victory away at Southampton.

The 26-year-old scored two goals for the Gunners in the mauling of the Saints as he stepped up his return from a knee injury sustained last March, but will be managed through his recovery in a bid to ensure he does not suffer any relapse.

And speaking on Monday morning ahead of the Emirates Stadium clash with London neighbours Watford, Wenger admitted that Arsenal would need to be careful with the ex-Manchester United forward as clamour grows over his selection.

“He is very sharp but still not out of it completely – we still need to be careful with him.

“We still have to manage the times we use him and rest him in the next months. To come out of what he has been through you need to be mentally strong.”

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Asked if Welbeck’s two-goal salvo at St Mary’s had been enough to convince him that he merited consideration for a place in future Gunners teams, the Frenchman confirmed he had been impressed by the returning star’s form.

“Of course he has done enough to keep his place,” said Wenger. “But we have to be cautious with him, I think he is a bit short to play every three days but the quality of the performance is there.”

Welbeck has struck 15 goals in 53 games since his £17m move from Manchester United in 2014.

He is expected to compete against Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud for a regular striking berth in the coming months.

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