With just days remaining until the Premier League season begins again in earnest, we’re taking a look at all 20 teams and the players we believe will make the difference for their clubs. Focusing on the players who are Making The Jump – young players ready to join the first team and make an impact, those players for whom this season is Make Or Break and those Season Makers who, should they perform to their highest capabilities, should be the key players for their respective clubs.
At 23 years-old, Danny Welbeck has spent more than half of his life and of course his entire career at Old Trafford, having signed for the club back in 2001. But since making his senior debut in 2008 Danny Welbeck has been something of a form of controversy amongst the Manchester United faithful.
With 20 goals in 90 appearances for the iconic Premier League club, Danny has a scoring average of just under one goal every five games, a return that perfectly embodies Danny’s career up to this point.
Often criticised for his finishing ability and perceived lack of a killer instinct, Welbeck is a forward deployed very much in the holding role, not unlike Emile Heskey, Danny is among a select group of forward players who are praised more for their ball retention and positioning than their goal scoring acumen.
Danny Welbeck is one of the few players in the current Manchester United set-up with a good amount of Premier League experience for both Manchester United and Sunderland, where he was on loan during the 2010/11 campaign.
Although a player of great ability and an England International, Danny Welbeck has struggled to truly put his stamp on the Premier League and is still a source of much frustration for a section of Manchester United fans who will have seen Danny, specifically during his spell with the Black Cats, playing full of confidence and with the uninhibited nature that great forwards need.
Welbeck’s loan period at Sunderland was his real introduction to Premier League football. Scoring eight goals during his loan period, it was in the North East where Danny thrust himself into the frame for an England call-up as fans up and down the nation called on the then England coach Fabio Capello to give the youngster a chance on the international stage.
With his successful loan period cut short however by injury, we were introduced to the other frustration that seems to follow Welbeck wherever he goes. Danny’s fitness has been a major concern for Manchester United since his earliest loan to Preston North End back in 2010 where Danny worked under Darren Ferguson, the son of then United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. During his spell at Preston, Danny suffered a setback with a swollen knee, resulting in his return to the treatment room at Old Trafford. Since then, there has been a perceived fragility surrounding him.
Often the lightening rod for poor Manchester United performances, Danny Welbeck has suffered a lot of criticism over the past two seasons but has not let it affect his confidence and playing-style. For a while there was an acceptance that if Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie were fit, Welbeck would be cast out of any first-team, which is a hard thing to dispute, however, with all of Danny’s qualities such as strength ,attitude, fortitude and movement, there is still one element that stands Danny Welbeck in very high stead and is one of the truest signs that a player has the capability for greatness is the faith and trust instilled in Welbeck by former coach and living legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
With the new season fast approaching and Manchester United looking at a top-four finish as the target, a good season from Danny Welbeck could go a long way to reinstating the confidence and faith that is synonymous with Manchester United fans.
A bad season however for Danny could spell the end of his Old Trafford career. With the acquisition of Ander Herrera and the suspected departure of Javier Hernandez, there is a lot of pressure heaped on the broad shoulders of Danny Welbeck to nail down what kind of player he is. The passing range of Ander Herrera and the movement and strength of Danny Welbeck should result in goals, and with a player like Danny, it doesn’t necessarily need to be off of his own foot for him to be doing his job, but there will definitely have to be goals scored and Danny definitely has to be involved.
Words by Ben Fawcett