Danny Welbeck has admitted his frustration at being played out of position for Manchester United and has casted further doubts over his future at the club despite the arrival of Louis Van Gaal.
Welbeck started to feel marginalised at the club because of his “frustrating” inability to establish himself as the number one striker at the club and with Van Gaal likely to make Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie his preferred attacking duo at the club, Welbeck’s chances of playing up-front next season are not guaranteed.
In an interview with The Guardian, the England forward admitted last season was his “unhappiest season without a doubt” and passed up on the opportunity to say he wanted to be part of Van Gaal’s United.
“I’d like to play centrally,” said the Longsight-born striker. “I’ve been playing on the left for a while and it’s got to the time when I want to stake a place up front.
“It does get frustrating. You want to play in a certain position and you’re not getting the opportunity to do that.
“It’s the same for everyone else when they are being played out of position and they don’t really like it.”
Welbeck, who scored nine goals in 15 Premier League starts last season, also spoke of his surprise at comments by David Moyes when he said Welbeck needed to train more.
He added: “I was pretty surprised, to be honest. I’ve grown up at Manchester United and been professional all through my career and I always do extra work. It’s born and bred in me to do extra work after training. He came out with that statement but, before then, I had been doing extra training. Maybe he just didn’t see it.”
The United striker hinted that the system adopted by England might suit him more than the one deployed by United as his defensive duties are limited at international level.
“I wouldn’t say I play better for England but my goals-per-game ratio is definitely better,” he said.
“Formation-wise, I’m much freer up front because, when I play on the left for England, with three in midfield and three up front, there is more defensive cover rather than me being that defensive cover.
“For United I’m more likely to be left-wing in a four-man midfield, with only two central midfielders, so it’s a bit more difficult for me to make runs and score goals when I’ve got to think about my defensive duties. Maybe I’m let off the leash a bit more for England than United.”
No United fan wants to contemplate the thought of Welbeck leaving the club but what is clear from his frustrations is that he isn’t fully happy right now with his current situation and is considering leaving for more first team opportunities.