Danny Welbeck must have splinters on his backside by this point, he has been sitting so firmly on the fence for the last 12 months when it comes to commitment to either Manchester United or Sunderland.
To be fair to the forward, it is a difficult situation, he has seen Javier Hernandez arrive on the scene at Old Trafford and succeed and he has also seen Dimitar Berbatov hitting a scoring run. He could potentially be further away from the Manchester United first team than ever if he returns this Summer, but at the same time he clearly has ability and could do a job for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, so he needs to be careful to not burn his bridges.
Welbeck is at the heart of a couple of different stories today. He hasn’t exactly told us all where his future lies but he has given us some indicators, he said:
“I’ve not really thought too much about what I’m going to do, but I’ve really enjoyed my time at Sunderland….It has benefited me massively, just to be around with the big boys week in, week out. I’m delighted with that, but the end of the season will be the time to sit down and think about the future….I’m like anyone else, I want to play every week. Football is my job. I like training hard and then playing in games, but we will just see what happens in the summer.”.
It would appear that this is as close as you are going to get without a direct ‘i’m leaving’ plea. Welbeck is now 20 and does need to be playing as much as possible, that is something that the player clearly recognises. I am confident that the pacey forward is capable of achieving success at Old Trafford, but if he is going to fulfil his potential, he needs to be playing more than he would at United currently.
Sir Alex has a string of other young forwards at his disposal such as Federico Macheda meaning that Welbeck could be surplus to requirements. I am sure that Steve Bruce would love to sign him on a permanent basis this Summer, however whether they could agree a fee remains to be seen.
The other interesting rumour flying about today could be seen as confirmation that the United hierarchy don’t see Welbeck as a long term option at Old Trafford. Reports claim that in fact it won’t be Sunderland where he will play next term, it will in fact be Everton, as Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing to offer the player plus money to secure long term transfer target Jack Rodwell.
Where Welbeck spends the next phase of his career is vital, if he can secure a run of first team appearances and develop his potential he could be a future star, and definitely an England international, if he lingers and doesn’t play enough he could be another sad case of a young player, never fulfilling their expectation.
There is a big decision to be made by both his club and the player himself and lets hope that both parties make the correct one.
For more analysis of the latest rumours and speculation, twitter is the place, @soccercityjoe!