Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has revealed how Manchester City passed up the opportunity to sign him at the age of eight.
The England international then went on to sign for the Red Devils only a couple of months later, and it’s a move that come could back to haunt the Citizens as Welbeck looks to fire United towards the title in a Manchester battle this season.
"My Dad didn’t tell me (that City rejected 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," Welbeck told The Daily Mail.
"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."
21-year-old Welbeck has scored 10 times for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side this season, and has become the regular choice alongside international team-mate Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. After a spell on loan and on the sidelines last term, the youngster has moved ahead of Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov in the club’s pecking order.
And he’s relishing his partnership with the former Everton starlet, who himself has 28 goals this season – many of which have come from the great work of Welbeck.
"He is a Scouser, I am a Manc, but we are good friends. We are always messing about and joking off the field, while on the pitch we just seem to work really well together. We kind of understand each other’s games," added the forward.
"Obviously, partnering Wayne Rooney up front is a big honour and I’d hope he would say the same thing!"
And, on the title race specifically, Welbeck admits the battle against Roberto Mancini’s side is bringing the best out of everyone at United, and he personally is relishing the importance of every single game in the run-in.
"Every single game is getting more important. It’s exciting to be involved in because I’ve not been through this before, a title race like this. I’m just looking forward to every game," he concluded.
"It’s definitely lived up to my expectations. I went to Sunderland as a stepping stone in my career, to become recognised in the Premier League before coming back to Man United a bigger and better person.
"I knew I could make a big statement for myself this season."