Centre forward? In the hole? Left midfield? He’s played in them all for Manchester United in this campaign.
Danny Welbeck is somewhat of an enigma because he’s undoubtedly a fantastic player but his stats this season of a single Premier League goal in 23 games are not what you’d expect from a striker.
A large part of that is because he’s been used more than usual at left midfield by Sir Alex Ferguson this season, breaking forward to form the left side of an attacking trio as United benefit from his work rate and sheer will down that side of their team.
That is classed as him playing out of position because he’s a centre forward but he’s had to play there because Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia have not been able to consistently play well on either wing.
Some of his best performances have come from playing down the left side of the pitch such as his display against Real Madrid away from home in the Champions League where he’s been superb.
The same work rate and will also benefits him when he plays as a straight up number nine, which is probably where he’d choose to play in any game if the manager gave him a choice in the matter.
However, his strike rate and efficiency in that position has been poor and occasionally there are still aspects of the ‘old’ Danny Welbeck which are evident in games; a lack of composure and initiative in front of goal.
If he’s going to play as a striker, he’s arguably at his best when he plays in the hole as a number ten supporting someone like Javier Hernandez or Robin Van Persie who can lead any attack admirably.
The reason this is a better striking position for him is because it plays to plenty of the elements he shows when out on the left; good touch, good control, solid passing and decent link up play which benefits anyone else making attacking runs in the United team.
He was one of the only United players to come out of the defeat away to Chelsea yesterday with his head held high because he did all of these things perfectly.
So it looks like a straight out fight between his left sided midfield/attacking role and his role as a number ten in the side, which will determine where he is best for United.
It’s sometimes frustrating to watch because he clearly loves playing through the middle but he’s never going to play in the pocket ahead of Wayne Rooney, which means he’ll almost always be stuck out on the left.
The problem with this is it goes against a lot of his natural attributes as a right footed striker, who wants to get on the end of chances and bang in goals with the regularity that his potential has always made him capable of.
Maybe one or two signings, and the inclusion of Wilfried Zaha, will allow him to move from the left and play more regularly through the middle of the attack. Even then, he’ll still struggle to hold down a nine or ten spot ahead of Rooney and Van Persie.
What do you think is Welbeck’s best position?