By Ryan Cargill.
With Manchester United sitting pretty at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, boss Sir Alex Ferguson has a welcome headache with the form of 20 year-old striker Danny Welbeck.
Longsight-born Welbeck has bagged five goals in eight games for Man United this season, including a brace on his full UEFA Champions League debut against FC Basel last week.
The stuttering form of Javier Hernandez is sure to allow doubts to creep into Ferguson’s mind over the Mexican’s claims for a regular starting place in the United side. ‘Chicharito’ has only managed a solitary double this season, away to Bolton Wanderers in early September.
Hernandez’ credentials cannot be dismissed entirely after his stellar maiden season which saw him claim twenty goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.
The fact of the matter is that Ferguson has only one place alongside talisman Wayne Rooney to place Welbeck or Hernandez and the decision is made even more difficult when weighing up the different traits possessed by the youngsters.
Welbeck is clever and strong beyond his years, whereas Hernandez possesses all the predatory instincts we would associate with a young Michael Owen or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It could be argued that various games require different attributes but in most cases, a striker can only find his form when playing week-in and week-out, as we witnessed with Hernandez in the second half of last season.
We may see who Ferguson’s preferred option is when he names his team for the crunch clash with Liverpool at Anfield on the morning of October 15.
Since the beginning of the season, when Hernandez was out injured, Welbeck has taken the chance with both hands, giving his boss an unexpected dilemma.
Welbeck has played his way into contention for a starting place among a mass of striking talent at Old Trafford. With Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Federico Macheda still on the books at Old Trafford, Welbeck and Hernandez are fighting head-to-head for the right to accompany Rooney in the spearhead of United’s attack.
And at the moment, Welbeck is edging ahead.
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