Danny Welbeck's Top 5 Manchester United Moments
Mark Bailey at the London Evening Standard interviewed Joe Hart and asked him about the relationships between England players who are rivals at club level.
“We spoke with them about winning the League and it was open and respectful and a very good vibe," Hart said. "Danny Welbeck is the worst to crack though because he is a mad, mad, mad Manchester United fan."
There's no doubt that if Welbeck could play at United for the rest of his career then he would but now aged 23 and still unable to nail down a place in the starting team, there have been reports he may leave for more regular first-team action.
Daniel Taylor wrote for The Guardian earlier this week about Welbeck's refusal to commit his long-term future to the club.
So if Welbeck is set to leave this summer, what will be the best moments from his time at the club for him to reflect back on?
Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year
When he was 17, Welbeck won the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award, which is the prize given to the best player of the Academy and the Reserves.
Despite only being in his first year, Welbeck was promoted to the the Reserves after scoring nine goals in 15 games. With the Reserves, he scored seven goals in just 11 starts, including a hat-trick against Manchester City.
Welbeck was invited to first team training on a number of occasions and was even named on the bench for the Champions League quarter-final game against Roma.
His season finished on the awards night with the same recognition that the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes had earned before him.
Scoring on His Premier League Debut
Welbeck made his Premier League debut as a second-half substitute against Stoke City when he was just 17.
Twenty minutes after coming on he struck the ball from 30 yards out and managed to find the top corner.
The Manchester Evening News later talked to him about how it felt scoring that goal.
"It's amazing really," he said. "It is what every young boy would dream of, in front of the Stretford End on my debut for someone coming from Manchester. I have thought about it ever since I started playing football."
Winning His First Trophy
A month before the 2009 League Cup final, Welbeck got his first call up to England U-21s. Welbeck had played in four of the five games in this competition leading up to the final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley and Sir Alex Ferguson chose him in the starting line-up.
Welbeck was replaced in the second half and the game finished 0-0. United went on to win 4-3 on penalties.
Welbeck had won the FIFA World Club Cup a few months earlier but hadn't played in the final. This was the first piece of silverware at United that he actively contributed to.
Scoring Against City
Joe Bernstein at The Daily Mail interviewed Welbeck and the player revealed rivals Manchester City rejected him after he went on a trial at the club when he was eight.
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.
United knocked City out of the FA Cup in 2012, beating them 3-2 at the Etihad, and it was Welbeck who scored to put his team 2-0 up with a fantastic finish. He ran to the crowd, slid on his knees, then kissed the United badge.
Scoring at the Bernabeu
The biggest moment of Welbeck's career to date has to be his goal against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. To put United 1-0 up against one of the biggest clubs in the world in their own stadium was a fantastic moment for the lad from Longsight.
Simon Stone of the Press Association (h/t The Daily Mail) later reported on Welbeck's reaction to the goal.
It was a great feeling to get a goal at the Bernabeu. The whole occasion was immense, with the number of fans who travelled over and with it being such a big game. There was a little part of me thinking I have come a long way in a short space of time. But it is something I strived for since I was a little kid. I really wanted to play for Manchester United and that was one of the biggest games, so part of me did feel proud.
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