Danny Welbeck is a player that divides opinion up and down the country.

On one hand, he is a striker who only scored one goal in 27 league matches for Manchester United last season.

On the other hand, he is a hard working forward player who works hard for the team and created six goals goals whilst occasionally being played out of position.

I’m of the belief that a striker should be judged on his goals, in much the same way that a defender should be judged on his ability to tackle.

I agree that there is more to a strikers' game than scoring, and I also acknowledge that there is more to a defenders' game than tackling. But these main attributes are what the clubs are spending the bulk of their money on. 

If a striker can hold up the ball, win headers and chip in with the occasional assist then those are brilliant bonuses’ to have as long as they are also scoring on a regular basis.

If they aren’t then these attributes are just paving over the cracks.

I’m not saying Welbeck is a bad footballer, believe me, there are much worse players who are stealing a living in the Premier League.

We are talking however about a striker who plays for the 20 time champions of England, following in the footsteps of George Best, Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

This is a team that should have the most fearsome strikers in the league.  I know what you’re thinking,  ‘Rooney and Van Persie is a fearsome strike force’. 

Manchester City have Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo - that’s four world-class strikers.  Also, with the speculation surrounding Wayne Rooney's future, the future of Manchester United may rest on the brittle boned shoulders of Van Persie and the unspectacular and uninspiring Danny Welbeck - a worrying thought for all Manchester United fans I’m sure.

If we analyse Welbeck in a little more detail we see that Welbeck has 17 goals in 91 Premier League appearances which is a goal every 5.3 games.  

When this is compared to the justifiably (in my opinion) criticised Emile Heskey who has 111 goals in 516 Premier League games which is a goal every 4.6 games, then you start to see why I think Welbeck is overrated.  

If we look at how Welbeck scores his goals, we see that six of his 17 goals were from headers. This could imply that because he’s playing at Manchester United that he is getting better service from the wings which means he has more scoring opportunities.

I’m not using his heading ability as a negative aspect of his game, I would just question whether he would get the service at a mid-table Premier League team.

To be fair to Welbeck, he has a good international record, having scored five goals in 16 games. He also has 15 assists in 103 games for Manchester United.

If we count his assists as goals and combine the two, one could argue that he has scored 34 goals in 103 games for Manchester United. If I was David Moyes, I would probably play him on the wing as he has a bit of pace and clearly has a footballing brain. He obviously isn’t a natural striker with a keen eye for goal that’s for sure.

Why is it then that in England we overate young English players? I feel that due to the wave of foreigner players currently applying their trade in England - who admittedly are much better than our home grown players - that we put extra emphasis on young English talent here in England.

The mentality of ‘if it doesn’t work, we will keep doing it till it does’. Can’t we just accept that English players just aren’t that good? It’s the mentality of ‘he plays for a top team, he’s young and English, he must be good, let’s give him an England cap’.

Step forward Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Now, I’m not saying these players don’t have potential, but are they really good enough to play for England? To represent our country all over the world? I don’t think so, you may disagree and that’s fine.

I just wish we would stop building players up to be better than they are, as we are just setting ourselves up for further disappointment in Brazil in 2016.

Let's not forget, these players are following in the same footsteps as David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and more recently Jack Wilshere. It's time to face the truth, these young English players just aren't good enough.

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Football
Danny Welbeck