Updated: Thursday, 5th December 2019 @ 2:39pm

World Cup profiles... Danny Welbeck: Lone ranger is proof England can develop players without ‘B’ League

World Cup profiles... Danny Welbeck: Lone ranger is proof England can develop players without ‘B’ League

| By Colin Rhodes and Josh Nicholls

Danny Welbeck may yet prove this summer to be a shining example of why the FA Commission should not introduce a Premier ‘B’ League in the future.

Welbeck has become the player he is today after experiencing life away from the glamour of Old Trafford during two loan spells at clubs of a more modest stature.

The forward tasted the rough and tumble of life outside the Premier League throughout a month-long loan spell with then Championship side Preston North End in early 2010.

Here he sampled an away trip to Peterborough United on a cold January Tuesday night and was part of a Lillywhite side who were booed off following a 4-1 home thrashing by Barnsley.

However a 19-year-old Welbeck did show he was destined for better things with a classy chip against Ipswich Town.

The following season Welbeck gained the Premier League wherewithal that would make him a United regular for the following three campaigns, joining Steve Bruce’s Sunderland.

Proving an effective foil for seasoned strikers Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, Welbeck made 26 appearances for the Black Cats in season 2010/11 scoring six goals.

He played a starring role in one of Sunderland’s best Premier League performances in recent history getting the third as they demolished defending champions Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in November 2010.

After scoring a spectacular long-range strike on his Manchester United league debut in a 5-0 win against Stoke City in November 2008, the Red Devils could have opted to confine Welbeck to their reserve team.

But his loan spell particularly at Sunderland gave him the experience crucial to his development that no ‘B’ league would provide: Premier League experience.   

These loan spells were enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to promise him a chance to make an impression on the first-team in the 2011-12 campaign, as a result.

It was an opportunity he took with both hands as he relegated Javier Hernandez and the previous season's top-scorer Dimitar Berbatov to the bench, forging a formidable strike partnership with Wayne Rooney.

He finished that campaign with 12 goals in 40 appearances, and then represented England at Euro 2012 where he started three out of four games and scored a majestic back heel and crucial winner in the 3-2 victory over Sweden.

His impressive form meant he was shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2012 and earned him a new four-year contract with United.

The arrival of Robin van Persie at the start of the 2012/13 season saw Welbeck deployed in an unfamiliar wide left position but he adapted his game effectively, and despite notching only two goals in 40 appearances, he helped United lift a record 20th league title.

Even in the tumultuous 2013/14 season which saw the arrival and departure of David Moyes, Welbeck notched nine goals in 25 appearances for the Red Devils in what was a poor season by their own standards.

He has established himself as an England regular under Roy Hodgson and has scored eight goals in his 21 appearances for his country prior to the Brazil World Cup.

Welbeck was born in Longsight and joined Manchester United at the age of eight here is a video of the striker aged eight training with Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.