Rumours this morning suggest that Danny Welbeck is prepared to leave the club this summer. The lad from Longsight splits opinion amongst reds and whilst this is a concept I struggle with, given that he loves the club, has spent his life dreaming of playing for United and is still young enough to deserve patience, I too would like to see him score more goals.
It was all set up for him to be a hero against Bayern Munich a few weeks ago but instead of doing the obvious and easiest thing, playing the ball along the ground to beat Manuel Neuer, he instead tried to chip him. I wonder how many times he has played that moment back in his head since then.
Still, for all the criticism that Welbeck gets, some of it deserved, it’s important that we look at what he has achieved this season.
When looking at the strike rate of players, not including penalties, Welbeck has one of the best records of any player in the league.
Welbeck has 0.64 goals per 90 minutes, which is a rate bettered by only three players this season: Sergio Aguero (1.06), Luis Suarez (1), and Daniel Sturridge (0.87).
Welbeck is just 23-years-old. Whilst there are freaks like Rooney and Ronaldo who are world class when there are teenagers, it’s rare for strikers to be at their peak when in their early 20s. The fact that Welbeck doesn’t get a regular run in the team doesn’t help this either. But over Christmas and New Year when Van Persie was out injured and Danny started plenty of games, he scored 6 goals in 9 games.
It would be a disaster if he left the club this season and I hope whoever is making the decisions on who stays and goes is aware of this.
“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.”