David Moyes will now get an opportunity to see his Man United team for the first time in the tour of Bangkok, Australia and Japan. He will get to assess the team and see first hand how to get his team playing his way. A few players have been influential for Man Utd and some have been on the fringes. Danny Welbeck has been on the fringes and Moyes will need to decide what to do with the England forward. The answer might be found in looking over previous productive partnerships and picking the best forward lines and analysing them.
Looking at some great partnerships in recent years; Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen, they all won trophies and the simple reason was the combination of a ball winning forward and a skilful finisher. Welbeck and Robin Van Persie could be a very successful partnership for Man Utd, as to get the best out of Welbeck he needs to be the player to hold the ball up or flick on a long driving pass to the natural finisher. Van Persie would exploit the space which Welbeck has created; even with Javier Hernandez upfront with Welbeck, it would work to the same effect.
Welbeck is a decent forward and although he will never be able to finish like Van Persie or Hernandez he does offer the fearlessness which the others don’t possess. Welbeck is a willing runner and great on the ball but he is not the wide man Alex Ferguson hoped he would be, Welbeck did a good job out wide but he needs to be in the thick of things to be the most influential.
With a 4-2-3-1 formation that Man Utd have deployed in recent years and the Moyes 4-4-1-1 at Everton, Welbeck would probably be shunted out wide, which won’t maximise his talents. Heskey, Sutton and Yorke had the role of the ball winner and gave the natural finisher the space and time to get the ball under control and get a shot away. Welbeck is the same sort of player and would find playing out wide for another season very frustrating and unproductive.
Welbeck is full of energy and good on the ball but his final delivery is not always up to scratch. He would provide an excellent partner upfront and would help out all across the forward line, but he would still just be a partner and not the main forward. All teams need some of the players to be good enough to get through the season and give a 7/8 out of 10 each week. Welbeck is one of those players. But as a backup to Van Persie and Hernandez, he falls short on the finishing; as a backup winger he is like a Pedro for Barcelona and will cover when the star player won’t track back.
Welbeck is very talented at certain things. His physical skill set is of a very high level, he works incredibly hard and has good positional intelligence. He’s an ideal team mate and clearly is very passionate about Manchester United. If David Moyes can find a role for Welbeck as a foil to the more explosive talents of van Persie, then it could certainly get the best from him. But he hasn’t shown he can be the star man at the club.