Arsene Wenger says Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has been playing with a point to prove as he prepares for his first reunion with former club Manchester United on Saturday.
Welbeck has impressed for the Gunners since his £16 million ($25.1 million, 20 million euros) transfer deadline day switch from United.
The England international’s five goals in 12 appearances have gone some way to silencing the critics, including United boss Louis van Gaal, who said Welbeck wasn’t up to the standard required at Old Trafford.
Arsenal manager Wenger knows he has benefitted from Welbeck’s determination to show he can make it at the highest level and he expects the forward, a boyhood United fan who had been at the club for 11 years, to be fully motivated when United come to the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
“You can take every challenge in a positive way and that is what Danny did,” Wenger said.
“You have to understand Louis van Gaal did not have Welbeck under his command for a long time and it is always very difficult to know the players well when you see them for three or four weeks.
“Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have an exceptional goalscoring record — he had two quality players in front of him, so what he needed was a chance.
“What is important is that the player makes a good career and has a good opportunity.”
United, like Arsenal languishing well behind leaders Chelsea after a spluttering start, received a fresh blow during the international break when Dutch midfielder Daley Blind sustained a knee ligament injury likely to sideline him for several weeks
But although they face ongoing injury problems in defence, goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielders Michael Carrick and Angel di Maria should all be fit to face Arsenal despite sustaining knocks on international duty.