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Arsene Wenger has backed Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck to force his way into Gareth Southgate‘s England squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
The 26-year-old has endured a mixed start to the current campaign with multiple groin injuries having forced him to miss nearly two months of league action.
Speaking to reporters, via ESPN, Wenger said that Welbeck can still hit form with the north London giants in order to earn a recall to the Three Lions setup.
He said: “Danny has the potential to go. If he’s fit, he will go, I’m convinced of that. I have long experience. I’ve known players who’ve won the World Cup who in November had no chance to go to the World Cup.”
“As a consequence of that, the best way to go to the World Cup is not to think ‘I have to prepare for the World Cup’, it is to do well for club and automatically you are in the national team.”
Welbeck last featured for the Three Lions during their World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia – the former in which he found the scoresheet.
Having been on the bench for the north London derby last weekend, the Englishman is likely to be handed a start during Thursday’s Europa League game at FC Koln.
Arsenal are nearly through to the knockout phase of the competition, and a point versus the Bundesliga strugglers will assure their place in the last 32.