I love Danny Welbeck. I love how he’s a homegrown player, he’s dorky celebration and the fact that he wears the number 19. While I’ve been bracing myself for Dimitar Berbatov to leave the club, Danny has eased the pain.
However, it wasn’t love at first sight. Two years ago I wrote an article evaluating United’s young players and their futures and this is what I said on Welbeck:
Like his Italian team-mate this guy started with a bang with ‘that’ cracking goal against Stoke. He has impressed in his recent appearances in the FA and League cup games since. However he will be loaned out to a premiership team this season to get some more first team action. To be honest I don’t think he’ll make it at Old Trafford. He’s quick and tall but I don’t believe he has what it takes to make it at Manchester United.
Not only is my assessment cringeworthy, but my writing is pretty galling too.
When he went out on loan I didn’t expect him to have great success. Despite having a major part demolishing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, I still had my doubts. However, I remember the moment when those doubts began to erode.
Sunderland were away to Arsenal and Danny Welbeck was just coming back from injury. Arsenal were still in the title picture and Sunderland were defending well, but provided no offense. Around the 70 minute mark Danny Welbeck comes off the bench. He looks much bigger and stronger than he used to be and manages to produce an impressive shot within minutes of coming on. I was very impressed.
Unfortunately, injuries kept Danny out of the team for the rest of the season. Yet, in his limited amount of appearances he had done well and I was looking forward to him getting a chance at United.
He’s performances in pre-season really got me excited, I was Scholes’ testimonial and I remember thinking “we’ve a player here”. Danny managed to score Old Trafford’s first goal of the season against Tottenham and he just flew off from their. It’s a testament to his progress that he was trusted as the lone striker away at Anfield. He ended the season with a respectable 12 goals in 40 games.
However, there is much more to Danny’s game than goals. He is a willing runner, but he is not just a workhorse. He has great pace, can score brilliant goals and has a bit of flair about him. Does he sometimes overdo the flicks? Yes. Should he improve in front of goal? Yes. However, Danny is still 21 and will improve. He went of to the Euro’s and did well for a rubbish English team. In doing so he became the first player to go to a tournament with England and play well.
Sarcasm aside, I expect Danny Welbeck to have a great career for United and England.
The future is bright. The future is red.