In recent years people, United fans included, have felt it is OK to second guess and question Sir Alex and when he sang the praises of Danny Welbeck in June 2009 stating he told Fabio Capello he would be in his team for the 2010 World Cup some derided his claim. Welbeck of course didn’t go on to play at the World Cup but did that mean he lacked the ability?
We had seen the best and worst of Welbeck at United with Henry-esque finishes and début goals as well as anonymous performances against lesser teams. It was thought a loan to Championship side Preston would see him improve as he would get more playing time which would also help him work the kinks out of his game, like dwelling on the ball for too long and whilst it started well scoring on his home début, injury curtailed the spell.
This summer on United’s summer tour of the US he looked a different player having recovered from his injury. He linked up well with Obertan especially and showed flashes of brilliance especially against the MLS All Stars leading some to claim he could actually be ready to play a larger part at Old Trafford this season. That wasn’t to be the case though, instead he went on loan to Steve Bruce’s Sunderland where after a mediocre start to his spell on Tyneside he has started to show his true ability.
Messi – esque runs, harassing the life of ‘the world’s best left back’ have all been part of the job for Welbeck recently as he has begun to show the rest of the world what we as United fans knew, he was an undeniable talent.
I was unsure that a loan would benefit Welbeck more than being at the club but playing games will always outweigh being on the bench and making occasional appearances. Welbeck is truly benefiting from playing games at the Stadium of Light and we shall benefit from this too.
I have a friend that is certain that his loan spell away from the club spells curtains for his United career and if it was about development why didn’t Kiko Macheda go? Being born over here means Welbeck is familiar with culture and will have all of his family fairly close to him, add to this Sir Alex’s comments about keeping an eye on a player that has a cockiness and arrogance that garnered attention from his international coach at the time and there is your answer. Welbeck has experienced a loan already and at this stage just needs games, which he is getting at Sunderland.
I was sceptical at first but if this spell finally allows him to spread his wings at reach the heights expected of him then although they may have bee slightly premature, Sir Alex’s comments about Welbeck starring for England at a major tournament may not be as far fetched as some initially thought.