It has not always been possible to call Danny Welbeck a game-changer. But as he continued his recent fine form by coming off the bench to score the only goal of the game against Norwich City yesterday, the Manchester United striker staked his claim to be called just that.
Last season, the England forward made the headlines more for his lack of goals than his successful strikes. After all, a striker who only manages two goals for his club all season may need to rethink his job title.
But this campaign has seen a resurgent Welbeck – a glimpse of which was seen on the opening weekend of David Moyes’ tenure, when the 24-year-old bagged a brace in a 4-1 win over Swansea City.
And while he did not instantly kick on from that fine beginning, Welbeck now has seven for the season, six in the league and four in his last four games.
Contrast that with Chelsea’s front-line of Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o, who have managed just five league goals between them…and just 12 in all competitions.
Ba has just one league goal to date, while Torres and Eto’o have scored two Premier League goals each. And while plenty has been written about the Blues’ misfiring strikers, along with their loan stars currently making waves at both Everton and Vitesse Arnhem, the simple fact is Welbeck is doing the job of three men (or at least a certain trio) who should be thriving off the creativity behind them.
Jose Mourinho will already have a plan or two to rectify the problem. Then again, perhaps he will simply look at Welbeck and wonder if one of his own goal-getters can replicate the England man’s change in fortunes.
Either way, it is now clear why he was apparently so keen to sign a certain Wayne Rooney last summer.
image: © vagueonthehow