Can Danny Welbeck Become A Key Player For Manchester United?

With uncertainty surrounding the future of Manchester United strikers Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney, there is a huge reliance on Robin van Persie to scored goals. Or is there? Danny Welbeck only managed one league goal last season, but a double against Swansea on Super Sunday may inspire him onto becoming a 15-20 goal a season striker for David Moyes.

In five years of professional club football, the Manchester-born forward has tallied up just 21 goals in 100 matches (eight of which were when out on loan). Although he may be at the forefront of some criticism for his international performances, six in 17 for England isn’t too bad when you include winners against Belgium and Sweden in that.

In those 100 appearances, he’s scored poacher’s goals, chipped the goalkeeper on occasions and fired in the odd 25-yarder. He offers more variety than Hernandez does, who’s agent revealed yesterday a move to Valencia has been rejected by the player. Though Chicharito [little pea] does have a far superior goalscoring ratio for both club and country, he may be seen now as more of a super sub. Game time could be further limited with FA Cup winner Angelo Henriquez (who is a similar player to Hernandez) likely to be given a chance to shine in domestic cup fixtures.

Playing as a second striker is Welbeck’s preferred position and his inability to ‘beat a man’ or cross a ball shows why the 22-year-old should never be placed out on the wing. On Sunday at the Liberty Stadium he completed 84% of his passes, with most heading backwards into central midfield in order to invite Carrick and Cleverley further upfield and therefore Welbeck can create space for himself. This is something that has tended to suit a creative midfielder such as Cleverley who maybe doesn’t have the pace to go it alone or take on a shot from range.

It’s under a year to the World Cup finals in Brazil and although Welbeck is likely to continue as a firm favourite of Roy Hodgson, he will need first team football to guarantee this.