Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

'He can be top-class': Sir Alex Ferguson sets 20-goal challenge for Manchester United star Danny Welbeck

'He can be top-class': Sir Alex Ferguson sets 20-goal challenge for Manchester United star Danny Welbeck

By Dean Wilkins

Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Danny Welbeck can become a top-class striker after challenging the Manchester United star to score 20 goals next season.

After netting 12 times for the Reds in the last campaign, the 21-year-old was named England’s main striker for Euro 2012 – and partnered teammate Wayne Rooney when he returned from suspension.

The youngster started all four games in Ukraine and Poland and scored a remarkable winner with a back heel against Sweden – and now Ferguson has laid down the gauntlet for his player.

"Danny can be a top player but obviously he will have to improve his goalscoring," said Ferguson.

"He got nine [Premier League] goals last season but if you are going to be a top striker you have to get 20 or above.

"I think he will do that."

United scouted Welback from an early age and guided him through his growth and development after struggling with injuries.

"He's always had growth spurts and all little things like weak knees and weak thighs. It was happening all the time," Ferguson added.

"So we fostered him from the age of nine right through that period when he was developing."

And the manager sent a warning to defenders as he expected his physical stature to improve.

"He's not got his full body yet," he said. "There's a lot of growth in him yet.

"At 6ft 3in, I don't think he'll get taller, it will go the other way, and he is very powerful already.

"He's got good movement and courage, plus confidence on the ball.

"And he showed maturity at the Euros by playing three games in seven days, which he has certainly not done for us before."

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