Arsenal new boy Danny Welbeck relishing chance as main striker

England and Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is looking to prove himself as the main striker

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Danny Welbeck insists he can become a prolific goalscorer for club and country if he is played in a central position.

The 23-year-old, who joined Arsenal on deadline day, is poised to start England’s opening European Qualifier against Switzerland on Monday after first-choice striker Daniel Sturridge suffered a thigh injury in training.

Welbeck’s goalscoring record – 29 goals in 142 games – is in part a reflection of his being asked to play wide on the left for both club and country recently and he says he will improve on that ratio, especially if he plays in his favoured centre-forward position.

"I prefer to play as a centre-forward," he told the Sunday Times. "We’ll see (about his scoring rate) when I get my opportunity to do that. I’ve never had the opportunity to get a consistent run of games as No 9 but have faith in my ability."

With the international retirements of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, Welbeck is now one of the more senior members of Roy Hodgson’s England squad.

"I’m no longer a young player. There are a lot of younger players than me in the squad, by quite a few years," he added.

"It’s good to see that youngsters are being given the opportunity to play in the national side. You see in training the outstanding talent they’ve got and how it can have a massive impact.

"Coming to this stage of my career, I really want to push on and be the best I can be."

England kick off their Group E qualifying campaign against Switzerland in Basel on Monday, before fixtures against San Marino and Estonia next month.