The manager admits he had a “dabble” trying to seal a reunion with the striker he spent time with at Sunderland, and has backed him to shine for the Gunners after a strong start
Hull City tried to sign Danny Welbeck from Manchester United before Arsenal sealed a deadline-day swoop, Steve Bruce has revealed.
The striker was made surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal following the loan capture of Radamel Falcao, with the Tigers boss keen on a reunion with the England international after time together at Sunderland.
But Bruce admits the club struggled to get past a “dabble” after finding out Arsenal were close to securing a €20 million move.
“I’ve got no doubt in my mind after working with him that he can play at any top four side, no question. He’s a top player,” Bruce told reporters.
“We had a dabble. I rang his brother (and agent, Chris) but there were some rather big clubs in for him. I think Spurs were in there, Arsenal as well, and one or two from Europe as well. He had a pick of a few clubs.”
Welbeck has registed four goals and one assist in six games for Arsenal, including a first competitive hat-trick against Galatasaray, and Bruce has no doubt he will go strength to strength at the Emirates Stadium.
“Sunderland was great for him. A bit like Jake Livermore, there comes a time when you just need to go out and play. He went back to Manchester United and went straight into their side.
“Now they’ve made changes and decided he’s surplus but I believe he can play in any top team around Europe.
“It surprised me because not often do you see Man United selling a very good young player. I’m sure it will work out for him at Arsenal.”