Welbeck Not Distracted By Gunners reunion

Welbeck Not Distracted By Gunners reunion

Watford striker Danny Welbeck says he will play the game not the occasion when he faces former club Arsenal on Sunday.

The forward joined the Hornets on a free transfer this summer after being let go by the Gunners after five years at the Emirates.

Welbeck’s time in north London was regularly affected by injury problems and he only managed one Premier League start last season among 14 appearances in total across the campaign.

An ankle injury kept the 28-year-old out for large parts last term but he’s now fit again and hoping to kick-start his career with Watford.

The former Manchester United man has had to be patient so far at Vicarage Road, with his only appearances being when he’s come off the bench twice in the league and playing the full 90 minutes in the EFL Cup win over Coventry, but he will hope to earn a start on Sunday against familiar opponents.

Welbeck insists he’s only focused on doing well for Watford, despite some of the attention around the game centering on the fact he’s facing his previous employers.

“At the end of the day it’s another game – 11 players on a football pitch against another 11 players – so I’m going to give my best and try to win,” he told the Watford website.

“Paul McGuinness, my youth team manager at United, would always say ‘play the game, not the occasion’ and that’s something that’s always stuck with me. So I’m not going to allow the occasion to get into my head.”

Sunday’s showdown with Arsenal also marks Quique Sanchez Flores’ first game back in charge of the Hornets following Javi Gracia’s sacking and the Spaniard’s return to the club after a previous season at the helm in 2015-16.

Watford have endured a poor start to the season and they sit bottom after four games with just a point on the board, picked up before the international break in a draw at Newcastle.

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