Sunderland news

England's Welbeck thanks Sunderland

March 30, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has highlighted his loan spell at Sunderland as the catalyst for his call up and debut for the senior England team.

Danny Welbeck on his England debut
PA PhotosDanny Welbeck played in Egland's 1-0 victory against world champions Spain

• Gyan: Welbeck may choose Ghana

Welbeck, who played for the Under-21s against Denmark on Thursday, was brought on as a substitute by Fabio Capello during Tuesday night's thrilling 1-1 draw against Ghana to make his international bow.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Welbeck to make a big impact when he returns to Old Trafford next season but the striker, who has scored six goals on loan, was quick to recognise how playing for Sunderland has helped with his development.

He said: "I am delighted with my progress. (Winning a first cap) was invaluable in terms of my progress and I'll take that in my stride. It is nothing to sit on because I've not done anything at all yet and I'm really looking to push on and keep improving as a player.

"I'm pretty happy with the progress I've made this season and I feel being at Sunderland this season has really helped me. The manager, Steve Bruce, and coaching staff have been really terrific and I've learnt a lot."

Manchester-born Welbeck can still play for Ghana as he has not played a competitive match for England, but he was booed by the away fans when he came on to replace Ashley Young at Wembley. The 20-year-old has no regrets about his decision.

"It's a bittersweet moment," Welbeck said. "I've got love for both countries. I can't play for both. I can't make everyone happy.

"I've been playing for England at every single youth-team level so it's kind of a natural progression just moving to the seniors and I'm obviously delighted with my own progress."