At the start of this season, no one could have anticipated the impact that Danny Welbeck would have on United’s season. After been brought back from a reasonably successful loan spell at Man Utd reserves (Sunderland) he was expected to slot into the fourth or even fifth spot in the striking pecking order at Old Trafford. Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov and probably Owen were all above him, and as with Macheda a lot of United fans were expecting to see Welbeck head out on loan again this season.
Fergie has of course had other ideas and from the start of the season Welbeck, when fit, has been selected up front with our wig wearing scouser. There has been a huge improvement in Welbeck’s game and whilst we all knew that he had the talent, see his 30 yarder against Stoke a couple of seasons ago, the stats show that this season he has become a much more clinical finisher in front of goal already matching his total from last season.
If you look at the above, you can see that there has been a marked improvement in Welbeck’s shooting accuracy and chance conversion. This is down to him getting himself in better positions to convert these chances, either running in behind defences or getting in and around the six yard box. Last year at Sunderland and the season before whilst still at United, there had been a tendency to stick Welbeck out on the wing where his pace could be used to beat full backs, but Danny has never been the best crosser of a ball, as his crossing accuracy of 33% at Sunderland last season shows. Where he belongs is up front. Of his six goals in the league this season, all of them have come in around the penalty area including yesterday’s crucial winner at the Emirates.
It’s not as if United have been lacking firepower either. Despite having problems in the middle of the park the goals have kept coming. In fact United are on pace to score more goals than last season
If you add Welbeck to the striking mix, you can see that apart from a very small bout of second season syndrome for our young Mexican, United’s forwards have actually been more clinical than last season.
It’s really good to see United bringing through another youngster. Welbeck has not only managed to fit into the rotation of United’s strikers this season; he’s consigned two of them to the bench for the foreseeable future, provided Carrick with a target to aim for when he plays one of his rare passes that ventures in a forward direction, and more important than anything, Fergie with another option up front in a title race that looks like its heading down to the wire.
Although looking at the above, should Berba not be getting more of a game??