Danny Welbeck is your average 21-year old lad from Manchester, and the last 12 months have seen him grow as a person and a footballer alike, rising through the United ranks and earning a highly sought-after spot amongst our senior squad.
Like many of the famed class of 92, Danny is a red through and through, he loves the club through the eyes of a fan, and for me these players will always have that extra special place in my heart. He knows how we feel when we lose to our local rivals, he feels the pain that little bit more when we end up finishing the season empty handed, because before he broke into the United team, he was exactly like so many of us. On the pitch Danny is different to many of the footballers we watch week-in week-out; he is in fact a rarity in this modern generation of football. The pride and dedication he shows when he takes to the field is a joy to watch, he doesn’t care about flash cars and earning ridiculous amounts of money, he plays because he loves it.
At the tender age of 17, Welbeck made his Premier League debut coming on as a second half substitute vs. Stoke City and made his mark with a stunning effort from 30 yards which curled into the back of the net, and at that point we knew we had a real talent coming through our ranks. Welbeck gave us glimpses of his talent for the next two years, but could never find his way into Ferguson’s plans on a regular basis. The ability was there for all to see, the challenge was putting that into practice every Saturday afternoon for the most successful team in the country.
The crucial factor in his development came in the 2010/11 season. He agreed to go on a season-long loan to work under the management of a United legend, Steve Bruce at Sunderland. The regular football did him the world of good; he scored some crucial goals for the Black Cats, most notably the third in the demolition job of Chelsea.
Welbeck hasn’t looked back since, this year he has featured 40 times for our first team in all competitions, coupling that with 7 appearances for his country. The only criticism you could have is the fact that he needs to add more goals to his game, but you feel that will come. The partnership he formed with Wayne Rooney at the back end of last season is a mouthwatering prospect for all United fans, because he’s just going to get better and better.
He was one of the highlights of a disappointing European Championships for England, his work rate and desire to win the ball is something that many England players before him should take note on. He epitomizes everything that’s good about our beautiful game, here’s to hoping that in 10-15 years time we are looking back on a glittering career of another Manchester-born red legend who will amass 500+ appearance’s in our famed red shirt. All he needs now is a chant!