By Adam Hicks.
Danny Welbeck has been called up to the senior England squad for the first time ahead of tonight’s international friendly against Ghana at Wembley.
The Manchester United striker has been on loan at Sunderland this season and will replace Aaron Lennon who picked up a hamstring injury in training on Monday.
Since going on loan Welbeck has enhanced his reputation as a future Man United and England star scoring six times including a goal in Sunderland’s incredible 3-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
Welbeck was sidelined for nearly two months after undergoing knee surgery in January but is now a vital part Sunderland’s front-line since the departure of Darren Bent to Aston Villa.
The Manchester born forward has impressed at Under-21 level and scored a fine goal for Stuart Pearce’s side in a 4-0 win over Denmark on Thursday but was absent for the 2-1 defeat by Iceland last night.
He has also featured for the national side at U-17, U-18 and U-19 level but this will be the first time he will join senior squad.
Danny Welbeck, along with Federico Macheda, were thought to be on the fringes of the first-team before the arrival of the Javier Hernandez, which may have prompted Sir Alex to send them out on loan this season to gain some valuable first-team experience. Welbeck has now made 22 appearances for the Black Cats while Macheda was sent back to his native Italy to join Sampdoria, and has played 11 times.
Born in Manchester to Ghanaian parents, Welbeck signed for United in 2005 and since first representing the U-18s he has progressed quickly through the ranks.
He burst onto the scene in 2008 after scoring on his Premier League debut from 30-yards after replacing Park Ji-Sung as a substitute in a 5-0 win over Stoke at Old Trafford.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has made no secret in hiding his desire to keep Welbeck at the Black Cats next season which shows the impact the young forward has had at the club.
Welbeck is still eligible to play for Ghana which is earmarked as a possibility. It does mean though, if he plays tonight he will be competing against current team-mate Asamoah Gyan.
With around seven changes expected, Capello has already said that he will start Andy Carroll up front which may mean a place on the bench for Welbeck.
Wayne Rooney has been sent back to join United to prepare for this weekend along with England colleagues John Terry, Frank Lampard, Michael Dawson and Ashley Cole.
Fabio Capello has hit the headlines for ringing changes for the game against Ghana but this provides the players on the fringes of the national side to stake their claim for a regular spot while also giving future prospects, like Danny Welbeck, a taste of what is to come.
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