An uncertain future for the promising Danny Welbeck

You expect a warm reception when you make your England international debut in front of a capacity Wembley crowd, but against Ghana Danny Welbeck was introduced to a chorus of boos, which continued to greet his every touch in a brief outing. Having opted to continue his progression through the English ranks after representing them at U16’s, U17’s, U19’s and U21’s, he has pledged allegiance to his birthplace as opposed to that of his parents. As the fixture was not a competitive contest, Welbeck is still able to have a future change of heart if his current opportunities dry up.

After the game, he refused to rule out the possibility of representing the Black Stars. “Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah, my team-mates at Sunderland, have been in my ear, saying ‘Come and play for Ghana'” claimed Welbeck. “I love both countries but it’s been a natural progression for me to play for England because I’ve represented them at every youth level right up to the Under-21s and I’m delighted I’ve made it into the senior side as well.” Confusion reigns.

At club level, matters are just as unsettled. After a slow start, Welbeck has since flourished on loan at Sunderland, shining in the 3-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and scoring six goals in 22 appearances thus far, including a brace against Everton. Steve Bruce this week declared his intention to sign Welbeck in the summer, but Sir Alex Ferguson has previously rebuffed any approaches, though with possible squad rebuilding required, he may be more tempted to cash in at the end of the season. Barring injury and a dramatic loss of form, Welbeck looks certain to head to Denmark in June for the U21 European Championships, where a strong showing could either persuade Ferguson to retain him or alternatively drive up any potential transfer fee.

Welbeck played 90 minutes in Manchester City’s demolition of Sunderland yesterday, where his only significant contribution to proceedings was to set up Stephane Sessegnon just before half time as the Benin international missed his kick and his side went in to the break two goals down, conceding a further three goals in the second half. Sunderland are now in freefall, they have failed to win in seven games and where they once had an outside chance of European qualification, they now find themselves in the bottom half of the table and only six points above the relegation zone. Fulham and Newcastle both climbed above Sunderland this weekend with comprehensive home wins against Blackpool and Wolves respectively, while Stoke’s impressive home draw with Chelsea also saw them overtake The Black Cats.

Sunderland have their destiny in their own hands, with a run in that sees them face most of the current relegation contenders; West Brom, Wigan, Fulham and Wolves all visit the Stadium of Light, with trips to Birmingham and West Ham. Alternatively, 6th place is only 7 points away and if they can find some momentum, everything remains up for grabs. If they have designs on enticing their current loan recruits to sign on permanent deals, headed by Danny Welbeck but also including Nedum Onuoha, Sulley Muntari, Ahmed Elmohamady and John Mensah, the further up the table they finish the better.

Related posts

Leave a Comment