September 24th 2008: Welbeck on the League Cup – “This competition gives me an opportunity to play more games and show what I can do. The manager usually gives the youngsters a go and you have seen it again. Now we will just wait to see who we get in the next round but I am looking forward to it. I have the chance to be play with other great young players and also to learn off the older ones. I am looking to take it all on board for the future when I am called upon again. Manchester United is the best place to be at the moment. I am loving it.”
November 15th 2008: Ferguson on Welbeck’s debut goal – “Unbelievable. To score on your full debut with a goal like that, he will remember it for a long time.”
November 17th 2008: Welbeck on debut goal – “It’s amazing really. It is what every young boy would dream of, in front of the Stretford End on my debut for someone coming from Manchester. I can’t say I have dreamt about it but I have thought about it ever since I started playing football. I remember picking the ball up on the edge of the centre circle. I knew Ryan Shawcross was coming up behind me. I have played with him a few times at United. I played a one-two with Manucho and just thought I would hit it. It was a relief to see it hit the net.”
November 20th 2008: Ghana FA spokesman Randy Abbey – “The GFA president has been in constant talks with his [Welbeck's] family, and the response is quite encouraging. There is still much to be cleared with respect to the player’s career development and gaining a regular place in the Manchester United first team. But we are very sure that when the time is due for the player to make a national team choice, it will be the Black Stars.”
February 3rd 2009: Welbeck on England U-21 call up – “To get a call to the England U21s was a great honour and I’m just looking to push on. I’ve just been playing and enjoying my football and whenever I get called up to any team I give it my best shot and do as well as I can.”
February 14th 2009: Welbeck – “I used to love Giggsy so much – and still do. Just seeing him in training you can learn so much from him. He’s always there to give advice, too, which is great. I could say he’s my idol. I think Manchester United is the best club to be at. It has helped me a lot. If I wasn’t at United playing a few games, I don’t know where I would be or at what stage I’d be at or what level. But just getting a few games here and there for the best club in the world has helped me get to this level. It’s what every Manchester boy dreams of. Growing up, you just want to play for United but to score for them was out of this world. It’s the Man United way of winning things. There’s no better club than United. The way the club is run and the way the players are. Nobody is too good, everyone helps each other at the right times.”
September 23rd 2009: Ferguson – “I just think that they are away that much with the youth squads they have forgotten where their real place is. Welbeck has been called away so much with every single England squad I don’t know if he is our player or their player! He is in every squad that is picked. The only squad he has not been in is the full squad.”
September 24th 2009: Welbeck – “It gives you a great buzz to hear what the manager said but I am just focusing on Manchester United at the moment. I am just like any other normal Manc boy. To be given the chance to play for Manchester United is a dream. I just have to carry on training hard to try to get more chances in the first team.”
December 11th 2009: Welbeck signs a new 4-year-deal
Welbeck – “I am really happy, there was never a doubt that this is where I want to be. I am enjoying every minute and learning so much from all the great players that are here. I would like to thank Sir Alex (Ferguson), the club and the fans for all their support.”
Ferguson – “We are delighted. We see Danny as one of the great young players who has emerged from the academy. He will have a terrific career and we are glad that he has placed his trust in us with his future.”
January 25th 2010: Darren Ferguson, Preston manager – “Danny is a young lad who has played quite a few games for United this season. He’s got fantastic potential. I think it helped with United going out of the FA Cup – they wanted him to go out and get experience. He’ll come here and get games, and I’m sure he’ll show the right attitude because of where he’s come from.”
March 12th 2010: Welbeck returns to United for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
June 15th 2010: Darren Ferguson – “I’ve been speaking to Danny and his brother, who looks after his interests, and things are ongoing on that front. My feeling is that they think it’s right to try and get him out on loan to a Premier League club. But if that doesn’t happen, if he comes to a Championship club, it will be us. One of the difficult things in signing players on loan from the Premier League is that their clubs often want them to do pre-season training with them. It’s only closer to the start of the season that they’re allowed out. That could be the case with Danny but, if so, we know what we are getting. He enjoyed his time here last season and was frustrated the loan was cut short by his injury. I’m looking for another striker this summer, one with more pace than we’ve got.”
July 23rd 2010: Welbeck – “My main aim is to be part of the first team set-up but I am happy to go on loan if the manager wants me to. I just want to keep playing games and improving. I feel I have improved a lot over the last couple of years in particular. I have learned so much during that time particularly the importance of mental strength on and off the pitch. I just want to keep improving and striving to show everyone what I can do. I am really pleased with how the tour has gone for me so far and I am happy with my performances. I have got to keep going and continue to get my fitness up.”
August 12th 2010: Welbeck joins Sunderland on a year long loan.
November 23rd 2010: Eric Black, Sunderland assistant manager, on signing Welbeck permanently – “That’s the problem you have to face. If we can concentrate on the first bit and he can be exceptional for us this year and score 15 goals, we will deal with the other bit when it comes. But first and foremost, we need to have the problem. He is an exceptionally good player. I see him every day in training and he has got fantastic ability. He has now got the confidence. Probably what has stunted his development is he has not been able to play regular football week in, week out. He is now getting that opportunity and he has grasped it. He has got phenomenal potential – that’s probably why he is at one of the biggest clubs in the world. But hopefully he is flourishing here and hopefully we can hang on to him for as long as possible.”
November 24th 2010: Welbeck – “I’ve seen what has been said and I need to make a decision on my future. For now, I’m looking short term. I just want to do my best in every game and I’m not thinking about whether I go back to United. My aim was to come here and get minutes on the pitch. At United, I was getting the odd chance here and there but I was never ready to take them. I’d miss loads of games and then I’d be thrown in and would struggle to do myself justice. It’s different here. I’m playing every game and I’m getting better and better. You can see I am benefiting from it. I’m confident and I’m really enjoying my football.”
December 5th 2010: Ferguson – “He’s doing brilliantly and he comes back to us at the end of his loan. The boy is a fantastic talent but the problem for Danny was that he wasn’t getting enough football. You had to go back to our youth games, two-and-a-half years ago, for the last time he played more than four games in a row. He also had problems in growing, in terms of his strength. He missed a lot of football because of that. I said that to him last season when I sent him to Preston on loan. Then he got injured and had to have a knee operation. That could have been down to a lack of strength in his thigh and knee area. But the strength is starting to come now. His physique is settled now and he’s starting to put on muscle. He’s a big, big lad – 6ft 2ins or 6ft 3ins. He played well against Chelsea and Everton.”
December 19th 2010: Steve Bruce, Sunderland manager, on signing Welbeck permanently – “I always knew that was going to be a problem anyway, deep down, but you never know. Fergie has got a birthday coming up shortly and he might get generous in his old age. But I somehow doubt it. But he’s a fantastic talent isn’t he? You can see that and he has benefited from playing regularly. The good thing about him is he has got infectious enthusiasm about him. He wants to play and train and he has been terrific. Manchester United have got a very good player on their hands.”
March 17th 2011: Welbeck – “I am generally happy with what has happened this season and I thank Steve Bruce for that. I have not thought about what is happening at the end of the season or heard about it. I am going to play the rest of this season then, come the end of May, I will start to decide. I have benefited from playing every week at Sunderland. You could see the benefits of playing another year on loan, but there are also negatives as well. I’ll see what happens. I’ve not really been thinking about it. I had a chat with Sir Alex when I went back there for treatment [on a recent hamstring injury]. He is really happy with how the season has gone. He said a few things, but I’m not going to say what. Whatever happens in the future, this move to Sunderland has been great for me. I have grown more confident as player and person. I am better mentally. I know more about the Premier League and it has been a great benefit.”
March 29th 2011: Welbeck gets his first call up to the England team for their friendly against Ghana.
March 30th 2011: Welbeck on reaction from Ghana fans – “It was a bittersweet moment. I’ve got love for both countries but I can’t play for both. I kind of understand that (the boos) but I can’t make everyone happy. I’ve been playing for England at every single youth team level so it was a natural progression to move up to the seniors. I am obviously delighted with my progress.”
June 19th 2011: Welbeck – “The manager said I’ll get decent opportunities and hopefully I’ll take them and progress from there,” said Welbeck, who admitted he would be forced to consider moving on if he failed to make it into Ferguson’s first-team plans. It gets to the stage where you have to decide on your future but I’m still only 20 and looking forward to my opportunity.”
July 28th 2011: Welbeck – “My main aim is to get games with United now. What Javier did shows you that if you’re in form, the manager plays you – and he is always going to give youth a chance as well. Javier was not starting most of the games at the start of the season but he was in the side later and was on top form. We have got good competition among the strikers at United so you have just got to go out there and show what you can do. I think I can break through if I get my opportunity and I’m going to give it the best shot I can.”
September 29th 2011: Welbeck – “The manager shows time and time again he will give local players a chance and it is then up to the individual to take it. I hope I can. I don’t know whether it is harder for local boys up front to make it. I can only look at myself and take my opportunities when they come. To score those two goals was a bittersweet moment for me. To get two Champions League goals, I am buzzing about that, but we didn’t get the win we should have done. I hope I have done enough to play against Norwich. We have some great strikers at the club and whoever is in there will give it 100 per cent. I just hope I get my chances.”
November 14th 2011: Chicharito – “I remember when I was in Mexico and I was watching Manchester United on television – Danny was just starting to come into the team and be given a few chances. You could see he had a lot of potential then, and was improving all the time. He was a good prospect then and now he’s even better. He’s had a great start to the season.”
January 23rd 2012: Chris Smalling – “Danny has a knack of scoring good goals this year for us and at vital times. That’s a great asset for us to have. This year he is getting his chance and he is such a threat. He causes defences so many problems and he did that again against Arsenal’s. It is great for us. He has come on leaps and bounds. He has always had his pace and ability to finish, but he is so much stronger these days. Sometimes he has to play up front on his own with (Wayne Rooney) just off him at times and when you have that responsibility you cannot afford to lose the ball when you are in that position. You have to be strong to deal with that and that is something his game has gained and he is scoring goals as well. He is a proper Premier League striker now. He has come in and joined the show and if he keeps this form up to the end of the season he is going to be great for us and he’ll do well for United and, hopefully, for England in the summer.”
January 27th 2012: Ferguson – “We were always aware of Danny Welbeck’s ability. The issue with him now is addressing the physical side. When he was 16 he had problems with his knees because he was growing, then he had some thigh problems. It was nothing serious, just a matter of waiting for Danny to develop into a man, which we are seeing the signs of now. He has a great physique but there is still more to come. Our stats show there’s still a bit to do before he becomes a complete adult. He has a good attitude, although he should have, he’s a young player with an opportunity at Manchester United. That’s one of the reasons you pick these players, because they show their temperament as they come through the youth programmes and the reserves. I am always confident about their temperament, their attitude to the game and their enthusiasm to play. In terms of judging young players, I don’t think we’ve ever failed in that respect.”
March 25th 2012: Welbeck – “City custard-pied me as a kid. My Dad didn’t tell me at the time, it was just before Christmas and he didn’t want to break any bad news. It wouldn’t have mattered, though. I am one of those people that if you are going to say something, just say it. I take it on the chin. Straight after Christmas, I played in a tournament for my local side, Fletcher Moss, and that’s where United picked me up. I went for a trial and have never looked back since. I was always a Red anyway. People around me would never let me get too big-headed. At the end of the day, you’re just another human being. I’m lucky to be doing something I love. I don’t think you could get too big-headed at Man United because it is a family-orientated club. There are players around who have so much experience in the game that they always keep you on track.”
May 29th 2012: Welbeck named in England’s Euro 2012 squad.
June 2nd 2012: Welbeck on scoring against Belgium – “To get my first England goal in that way, obviously I’m really delighted and it’s a massive honour. I’m just really looking to build on that performance and get more games under my belt and more goals. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I’ve had a few caps under my belt and one or two starts. So, just to get the goal today, I’m really delighted.”
August 22nd 2012: Welbeck signs a new 4-year-deal
Welbeck – “Playing for United is all I’ve ever wanted to do – it’s the club I’ve supported all my life. I can’t wait for the challenge of the new season to play my part in helping the team compete for trophies. I’m learning all the time from the best manager in the game and I’m keen for that to continue alongside the world-class players in the squad.”
Ferguson – “Danny has been with the club since he was eight years old and has made fantastic progress in the last couple of years – first out on loan and last year as a regular in the first team. He has become an important player at international level as well, as the maturity of his performances at the European Championship showed. This year is another important one for him. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
October 15th 2012: Michael Carrick – “I am a massive fan. I am probably a bit biased because of the United connection. But ever since I have seen Danny I have been a huge fan and I expected big things of him. He has had a terrific couple of years now. People were looking at him when we signed Van Persie saying ‘where is his position, where is he going to fit in?’ But he showed he is still a major part of it. We have got so much strength, but he has been terrific, and he was terrific again on Friday against San Marino. If he keeps performing like that he is only going to get better.”
December 11th 2012: Robin van Persie – “It goes both ways – I can learn from them as well. For example, I love Chicharito’s enthusiasm, I love how he plays and trains and does his work off the pitch after training. A couple of weeks ago he wasn’t playing as much but he was in the gym every day doing extra work, and that sets a big example for everyone. Danny, too. He’s not playing in his favourite position at the moment but we need him and he’s working hard. When you have four strikers being so professional, it sets the tone for the others. Everyone realises we are all in it together and we all need to do our bit.”
February 3rd 2013: Fans voted Welbeck England’s 2nd best player of the year, behind Steven Gerrard.
April 19th 2013: Welbeck shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
May 2nd 2013: Ferguson – “Last year he had 12 goals, this year he’s only got two, so that’s a big drop. But that drop doesn’t concern us because he still applies himself really well and still looks to score, still looks to get a chance and with that kind of courage he will eventually become a regular goalscorer. Maybe he doesn’t appreciate us moving him around in various positions and we’ve maybe overused that because he is young. But his value to the club is there because I know he can do a job for me in any of those positions. It’s a fantastic asset when you have a player who is as adaptable as that. But I think he will find his role through the middle once he gets that maturity and gets into a more consistent way of scoring.”
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