Carrick: Danny’s driven
Michael Carrick believes Manchester United and England are witnessing the best of team-mate Danny Welbeck – as a result of Robin van Persie’s arrival at Old Trafford.
The Dutch superstar signed for the Reds from rivals Arsenal in the summer, prompting fierce competition for places up front amongst fellow strikers Wayne Rooney, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Welbeck.
Rather than wilting under the pressure, 21-year-old Welbeck has reacted magnificently, playing an influential role in most of United’s early season endeavours whilst impressing for the Three Lions, most recently scoring twice during last Friday’s dissection of San Marino.
And with Jermain Defoe pushing to reclaim his starting place against Poland on Tuesday, Welbeck is set for another selection tussle. But Carrick believes his club-mate is braced for the battle after already proving his worth at the Theatre of Dreams.
“I am a massive fan of Danny’s, I am probably a bit biased because of the United connection, but ever since I first saw him I have expected big things of him,” Michael told reporters.
“He has had a terrific couple of years. People were looking at him when we signed van Persie saying, ‘Where is his position, where is he going to fit in?’ But he showed he is still a major part of it and he was terrific against San Marino.
“We have got so much strength, but he has been terrific. If he keeps performing like that he is only going to get better. He can create and score goals. He can play different positions, he can play wide, he can play up top – he is a real talent.
“He is modest too, what you’d expect coming through the ranks at United. The manager sets standards for the young lads and Danny doesn’t get carried away and this won’t change him at all.
“He just gets back and starts working hard again and that is what he does best – that is one of his biggest assets.”
Personally, Carrick is also in a strong position, both domestically and internationally. The Reds midfielder has returned triumphantly to the England fold under new boss Roy Hodgson and he couldn’t be happier.
“I have really enjoyed it. I think the new manager has had a positive impact on the squad. We are playing some good football. Everyone is enjoying it and I think you can see that from the performances.
“Competition is nothing new, so when I play I try to enjoy it and do my best. So let’s see what happens for the next game.”