Fighting positions: Danny Welbeck frustrated by wide role at Manchester United
Welbeck netted nine goals in 25 Premier League appearances as United endured a forgettable campaign last term, finishing seventh in the standings.
And that was despite Welbeck often playing out wide, with former manager David Moyes opting for Juan Mata in the number 10 role, while Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were deployed up front.
Welbeck was also forced out wide for most of Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge and the England international admits it has been frustrating on the wing ahead of Louis van Gaal’s arrival at Old Trafford.
“It does get frustrating,” said Welbeck, who has been linked with a move away from United.
“You want to be playing in a certain position and you’re not getting the opportunity to do that.
“It’s the same for everyone – when they are being played out of position they don’t really like it.
“I’d like to play central. I’ve been playing on the left for a while and it’s got to the time where I want to stake a place up front.”
The 23-year-old has netted 20 Premier League goals for United since making his debut in 2008 but he has a much better return for the national team.
Welbeck has scored eight goals in 21 games for England, which he believes is a result of him being ‘let off the leash’ up front for Roy Hodgon’s men.
“My goals per game ratio is better for England,” he said. “I’m much more free up front as there are three in midfield and three up front. That way there’s a bit more defensive cover rather than me being that defensive cover.
“For United I’m more likely to be left wing of a four-man midfield with only two centre-mids so it’s a bit more difficult for me to maybe make those runs to get in and score those goals when I’ve got to think about my defensive duties as well.
“Maybe I’m kind of let off the leash a bit more for England than United.”
Welbeck also hit back at Moyes, who in December said the striker did not train hard enough.
“I was pretty surprised to be honest,” said Welbeck, who endured a strained relationship with Moyes before the Scot’s sacking.
“Before he made that statement I was doing extra training. Maybe he just didn’t see it.
“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 and maybe he wasn’t seeing that extra stuff.”
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