Time for Welbeck to make or break United career
Zee Media Buerau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Danny Welbeck`s growing frustration at Old Trafford is viable but he needs to develop his game further up-front to stand a chance in claiming a spot.
As the FIFA World Cup in Brazil looms with only 16 days left, Welbeck will be hungry to perform at a big level. Welbeck stated on Monday that he stands a better chance to score for England than for Man United with a more attacking role. He also added his growing frustrations with the club.
Roy Hodgson generally uses a 4-3-3 formation for England with sometimes opting for a 4-2-3-1 or the traditional 4-4-2. Welbeck has played an important role for the Three Lions and Hodgson has used him ahead of James Milner. The interesting thing is that Welbeck doesn`t play as a striker or a centre-forward in the middle for England.
Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney figure central to Hodgson`s plans and Welbeck will mainly see himself playing on the left. In a 4-3-3 combination, as a left forward and as more of a left winger often interchanging with a central role in the other two formations. With Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling in the mix, they will be seen as a potential No. 10 alongside Rooney and therefore Welbeck can`t be used as someone behind the striker.
While Welbeck has done well for his country, the same hasn`t been with his boyhood club. His goal output has been very less. United are thick in the forward line with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. The inclusion of Juan Mata as a No. 10 has seen Shinji Kagawa play on the left flank. Kagawa too prefers a central role but his link-up with Mata will see United using him more in that role where Danny Welbeck too features.
It is unlikely Welbeck will get the chance to play as a striker when the other three options are available. Under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, Welbeck featured mostly on the left and got a forward role in their absence. It`s a position he is tired of and even with Louis van Gaal coming, he has given a sign of leaving. It will be interesting to see where Louis van Gaal can fit him and what formation he chooses if Welbeck stays back. A 4-3-3 hasn`t been United`s preferential formation and given the situation United have played with over the years, Welbeck will be used on the left, alongside Adnan Junuzaj and Shinji Kagawa.
Welbeck needs to find the net for England and his performances in Brazil may define his role at United later on. No matter which position he is used at Old Trafford, he has healthy competition to fight for and given his record at United, he should feel lucky enough to feature quite prominently. In the last three seasons Welbeck has played in 115 matches in all competitions for United. The numbers aren`t bad for a player in a big club with a big squad. The 2012-13 season saw him score only 2 goals the entire term and he managed a meagre 10 goals in the next.
It will be essential for him to figure out his needs and if he just wants a striking role, then that might see him leave the club that he wanted to be a part of throughout his playing career.