The Manchester United youngster Danny Welbeck had joined the Gunners with the hope of getting more chances in Premier League in 2014-15 season. But was he able to improve his playing attributes in the last three seasons at Arsenal? OR The Lad from Chelsea youth academy, Romelu Lukaku – who currently plays for Manchester United, has surpassed Danny Welbeck in recent years?
The question is arising from various corners of the footballing World. So, let’s discuss about the career graphs of Danny Welbeck and Romelu Lukaku till date.
Danny Welbeck :
Making His Mark :
The English forward who can also be deployed as winger made his debut for Manchester United senior team in 2008. He was one of the most recognized talents of Manchester United youth academy and after note-able performances at under-18 level he was promoted to the United’s reserves. Danny marked his first official appearance for Manchester United when he was named in the starting lineup against Middlesbrough for third round of League cup in 2008-09 season. His Premier League debut came against Stoke City coming as a substitute in the same season.
In the following season ( i.e 2009-10), Danny Welbeck got some UEFA Champions League game time – making his debut against Belgium side Besiktas. Welbeck signed a new long contract for Manchester United keeping him at Old Trafford till 2013.
In January(2009-10) Welbeck was loaned to Championship side Preston North End for the remaining part of the season. But soon picked up an injury bringing him back at United.
Welbeck was then loaned to Premier League side Sunderland in the summer of 2010-11. His first notable performance came against Chelsea in where he scores his debut goal for Sunderland. He soon became an important player for the Black Cats, knocking national team doors at the same time. Injury woes kept Danny from playing full season and he soon returned to United for further treatment. But during this point of time Welbeck became a well known player in the Premier League circuit.
Getting Into United :
From 2011-12 season Danny Welbeck was handed first team chance with the Red Devils at the start of campaign, starting not only FA Community Shield but also first match of Premier League against West Bromwich Albion.
Danny Welbeck’s name was on a high, after scoring and assisting one against Tottenham Hotspur and opening the scorecard for United when they thrashed Arsenal with a scoreline of 8-2. The English future star was further withdrawn with hamstring problems.
2011-12 continued to be impressive for Danny after netting his premier UEFA Champions League goal against Basel. He was further nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2012.
Inclusion of Dutch trademark Robin Van Persie from Arsenal in 2012-13 limited Welbeck’s opportunities scrambling his name into starting lineups. Yet, he netted vital goal for Alex Ferguson’s side at Santiago Bernabeu against Spanish giants Real Madrid. The opportunities started to walk away from Welbeck and he would find himself on bench every now and then.
In the following season the change of manager at United brought some changes in the fortune of Danny Welbeck too. Under David Moyes he had started the opening match of the season against Swansea City where he had scored 2 goals. Welbeck netted ten under David Moyes.
But at the end of the season he had strongly expressed his desire to leave his boyhood club being not preferred to play under his preferred position. Welbeck was regularly used far wide going forward rather than centrally, which led to his move away from Manchester United.
Gunning The Greatness :
Lack of opportunities in Manchester United led for Danny Welbeck Welbeck to move away to North-London with Arsenal. The Gunners snapped him up for transfer fee of £16 million on the deadline day of 2014-15. After scoring 29 goals in 142 appearances for United Welbeck was set to make his mark for the Gunners.
After blanking in his first two games for Arsenal, Welbeck scored his first Arsenal goal against Aston Villa in the Premier League. He also netted first hattrick of his career against Galatasaray in the Champions League. One of the most memorable moments under Arsenal badge came when, Welbeck put the ball past De gea to knockout his former employers Manchester United of FA Cup (quarter finals).
Injury didn’t leave Welbeck even at Arsenal as he was soon ruled of the season.
The first season of Welbeck at Arsenal was undoubtedly the best of his Gunners’ date so far. He had made 34 appearances before being knocked out due to a knee injury and scored 8 important goals for the team. The injury problem had kept Danny Welbeck out of the field until the mid February of the following season (2015-16).
He marked his comeback appearance with a header from Mesut Ozil’s free kick beating Leicester City at the injury time. He was sort of an ‘Hero’ in North London. That goal, that moment and this guy everything had something extraordinary about oneselves. And This moment engraved Welbeck in hearts of Gooners.
Welbeck again picked up a knee injury against Manchester City in May of 2016. He had to miss the Euro’s 2016 with English National Team and was ruled out for eight months. Welbeck had made 20 appearances that season wherein scoring only 5 goals. In January (2016-17), Welbeck was back to where he belonged yet wasn’t able to live upto his potential. In 20 matches he found net only on 4 occasions.
This season he has already scored 3 goals in 8 matches and we can hope that more to in the following matches to come.
The New Dawn :
But the career of Welbeck is not finished yet. He could still come back living upto his full potential and make a beast out of himself. Welbeck’s work rate, pace and intelligence in following tactical command have differentiated him from the other players of his generation. Arsene Wenger is using a 3-4-3 formation this season and he can use Welbeck as a winger also.
In the next season with possibility of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez leaving the club only arises opportunity for getting his deserved chance. If Welbeck lives up to the hype and his potential wherein he was regarded something special- someone special, he could be one of the top strikers of footballing World.
Romelu Lukaku :
Making His Mark :
The Belgian International had first made his mark for Lierse, a Belgian Pro League Club with an established youth academy. From there, he was scouted by Anderlecht after scoring 121 goals in 68 matches in 2006. Lukaku had played 3 years as a youth player of Anderlecht before making his debut for the senior team in the Championship Playoff match against Standard Liege in 2009. He became a regular member of the senior team from 2009-10 season and the season made him the top goal scorer of Belgian Pro League with 15 goals. In the following season (2010-11) also Lukaku had scored 20 goals and the move towards a bigger stage was inevitable for him.
Lukaku had signed a 5 year contract for Chelsea in the summer transfer window of 2011-12 season with a reported transfer fee of £12 million. He had made his debut against Norwich City coming as a substitute at Stamford Bridge. Lukaku was in the starting line up of Chelsea against Fulham in a League Cup game for the first time. Lukaku didn’t get enough chance in the Chelsea line up in that season which had left him frustrated after the end of the season.
In the following season (2012-13) Lukaku joined West Brom for a season long loan. He had scored one goal in his debut match as a substitute. Lukaku had made 38 appearances that season and scored 17 goals in this time span. Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge once again after the end of the season but missing the penalty against Bayern Munich in UEFA Super Cup had leaded his deadline day transfer to Everton.
Becoming A Star :
The move to Everton was really crucial in the career graph of Romelu Lukaku. He had become a real star footballer playing in Everton colors. He scored the winner in his debut match against West Ham away from home with a stunning header. His goal scoring form continued in the following matches of the Premier League against Newcastle United, Manchester City and Aston Villa also. The Belgian came in the town talk when he had scored twice in the first Merseyside derby of the season as Everton drew 3–3 against Liverpool. It was the biggest match till date of Romelu Lukaku’s career and the player acknowledged it after the match.
He was named as one of the most promising young players of Europe by ‘The Guardian’ in January 2014. But he had to spend some times out of the field after being taken off receiving an ankle injury in the following Merseyside Derby of the season later in January. The forward made his comeback in March and marked his presence with the winning Goal against West Ham coming as a substitute. The season was phenomenal for Romelu Lukaku as well as Everton. Everton had thrashed Arsenal with a margin of 3-0 at Goodison Park where Lukaku found the net once and assisted in another Goal. It was a remarkable season in Romelu Lukaku’s career as he scored 15 important goals for Everton in his 33 appearances which had helped Everton to finish in fifth place in the League Table with a club record of 72 points.
Lukaku had signed a five year contract for Everton in the following season (2014-15). He had scored his first goal of the season against his former club West Brom. Lukaku had netted his first hat-trick for Everton against BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Europa League last 32 where struck with a header, a right-foot shot and a left-foot shot. In the following leg also he had scored a brace and was named the highest goal scorer of the tournament with 8 goals. He finished the season with scoring 20 goals in his 48 appearances for the Toffees.
Lukaku had started the next season with a blast as he scored a brace against Southampton on the opening day of the season and soon netted another brace against Barnsley in the League Cup. He became the fifth player under 23 years of age to score at least 50 Premier League goals, after Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. Lukaku was the first Everton player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches, and the first to score in seven consecutive matches in all competitions. His goal scoring form was on the high throughout the whole season as he found the net in 25 occasions in his 46 appearances that season.
The player’s rise in the career was on the move with breaking so many records. Lukaku scored the 12th fastest hat trick in Premier League history against Sunderland on the opening day of 2016-17 season. Lukaku became the first Everton player since Gary Lineker 31 years previously to surpass 20 league goals in a season, as well as being the fourth player and first foreign player to score 80 Premier League goals before the age of 24. He was named in PFA Team of the Year for the first time in April, 2017. He was also shortlisted for PFA Player of The Year and PFA Young Player Of The Year awards for his 26 important goals for Everton in 39 appearances. The player was strongly linked with Chelsea for making a return next season but after so much dramatic moves in the transfer market he joined Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the history of World football.
The Red Devil :
Lukaku joined Manchester United from Everton this season with an undisclosed transfer fee around £75 million with £15 million add ons. Lukaku scored in his Debut match for United against Real Madrid in the Super Cup. He had netted a brace against West Ham in his Premier League debut for Manchester United. The player again found a double in his scoring tally against CSKA Moscow. Lukaku was the first player to score 10 goals for Manchester United in first nine appearances of the club ; he broke the record of 9 goals of Sir Bobby Charlton with this. The Belgian star forward found the net in 13 occasions in his 23 appearances for United so far.
The New Dawn :
Romelu Lukaku is only 24 years old and he has a great future ahead of him. Though some football pundits still have a doubt on him as his scoring record against big clubs are not really up to the mark.
The player is getting the full opportunity to play upfront for a big club like Manchester United. We can hope that the exposure to Champions League football will help him to improve his goal scoring record against big clubs and moreover playing under the management of a coach like Jose will surely make him one of the best strikers of the footballing World in few seasons.
Now if we are going through the Goal scoring records of both the Players, Lukaku is somewhere ahead of Welbeck as per the current stats. But Welbeck has the potential to match the goal scoring record with Lukaku. One thing we can obviously tell from the discussion that these two players will be the differentials for their respective clubs to win trophies in near future.