Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has joined Sunderland on a season-long loan after the 19-year-old forward agreed the deal today. Longsight-born Welbeck underwent a medical at the Stadium of Light following United’s move to secure Portuguese forward Bébé on a long-term deal yesterday. Welbeck faced an intense fight for a place at United.
Welbeck, always unlikely to figure heavily in Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans this season, joins Steve Bruce’s side after the departure of Kenwyne Jones’ to Stoke City. The United player will team up with former Red Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent in Sunderland’s strikeforce this season.
“I’m delighted to be able to come to Sunderland – I’ve come here to get some experience and I’m looking forward to it,” he told SAFC TV.
“Sunderland are a big club. They have been in the Premier League for a few years now. I’m hungry and determined to make an impression here.”
Welbeck has made 24 appearances and scored five goals for United but failed to progress last season after successive injuries, including a knee problem picked up while on loan at Preston North End. It completed a campaign of frustration for the player whom Ferguson had tipped as a potential pick for Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad.
“A few Premier League clubs were interested in taking me on loan,” added Welbeck.
“I spoke to Steve Bruce a few times on the phone and the words he got across to me persuaded me to come here. When I knew Sunderland were interested I didn’t really look back and I’m looking forward to giving it my all here.”
If Welbeck’s last campaign proved disappointing, then the striker ought to figure significantly in Bruce’s plans this season. Quite where the player will stand in 12 months time with so many forwards at United is as yet unknown, although a long-term deal with Sunderland is not out of the question.
The deal for Welbeck leaves Ferguson with six senior strikers in his first team squad this season, with Mame Biram Diouf having signed for Blackburn Rovers on loan last week.