United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Woe for Welbeck as knee surgery ends his season

Posted by nickogs20 on March 19, 2010

United forward Danny Welbeck has been forced to undergo an operation to repair torn cartilage in his knee, bringing a premature end to both his loan spell at Preston North End and his 2009/10 season.

The 19 year-old striker had made a promising start to his spell at Deepdale, scoring twice in his first three games (including this gem on his home debut), but soon found himself hampered by knee trouble and returned to Manchester for treatment at the end of February. Welbeck returned to Preston last week after being given the all-clear to resume playing but subsequently broke down in training, and further assessment revealed the teenager would require season-ending surgery.

It’s a bitter blow for the youngster from Longsight, who was looking to impress in the Championship and force his way into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team plans for next season. Preston boss Darren Ferguson saw enough from Danny to believe that he will still be able to do just that with a full pre-season behind him, but hasn’t give up hope of bringing the teenager back to Deepdale for another loan spell next season. Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, the North End boss said:

“I’m sure the experience here will stand Danny is good stead, and I think we’ve benefitted from having him with us. It would be nice to have him back – you never know. The fact he only played eight games means he might be allowed out again, but I would have to doubt that.

I enjoyed working with Danny, he’s a lovely lad, brought a lot to the team and got on well with the players. I’m sure he enjoyed the experience. I do think Danny is going to be involved in United’s first team next season. People like him and Tom Cleverley, who have had the experience of going out on loan, will now be looking to be more involved there.”

Time will tell whether Welbeck will see greater involvement in the first-team at United next season or head back out on loan, but if it’s decided that the latter is the best option, Preston – with the obvious family connection and promising first impressions – would definitely seem to be the most likely destination for the England U21 international.

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