Manchester United have announced that Danny Welbeck has signed a four year deal with the club, keeping him to his hometown club until at least 2016.
At only 21 years of age, Welbeck was a key member of United’s squad last season, in which he enjoyed a breakthrough year which culminated with a prominent role in England’s European Championships bid this summer.
Despite his young age, Welbeck has already made an impressive 65 senior appearances in all competitions, 40 of which came last season, scoring 17 goals along the way.
His status as a Mancunian has made him immensely popular with the Old Trafford faithful, as has his work ethic and quality on the pitch, helping to prove that the Manchester United policy of promoting youth is still well and truly alive.
Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his happiness to ManUtd.com at being able to tie Welbeck down to the club for the next four years, reiterating his belief that Welbeck has big future ahead of him at Old Trafford:
“Danny has been with the club since he was eight years old and has made fantastic progress in the last couple of years – first out on loan and last year as a regular in the first team.
“He has become an important player at international level as well, as the maturity of his performances at the European Championships showed. This year is another important one for him. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Welbeck was also keen to show his own delight at agreeing a deal with his childhood club:
“Playing for United is all I’ve ever wanted to do – it’s the club I’ve supported all my life. I can’t wait for the challenge of the new season to play my part in helping the team compete for trophies. I’m learning all the time from the best manager in the game and I’m keen for that to continue alongside the world class players in the squad.”
Welbeck made his first appearance for Manchester United in 5-0 win over Stoke at Old Trafford in September 2008, coming off the bench to score a spectacular effort. He played 13 games in season 2008/09, before playing 11 games in 2009/10, a season he also spent on loan at Preston North End, before securing a season long loan at Sunderland in 2010/11, where he proved his ability in the Premier League. Sir Alex has since had no hesitation in throwing Welbeck into the United first team, where he has formed a fantastic working partnership with fellow striker Wayne Rooney.
The new contract serves as due recognition of Welbeck’s improvement to date, and the pivotal role he is set to play in Manchester United’s future.