FOOTBALL NEWS

31/01/2008 07:17, Report by Ben Hibbs

Welbeck relishes his chance

United’s teenage striker Danny Welbeck is targeting more involvement in the Reds senior team after being given a taste of first-team action on the recent trip to Saudi Arabia.

The skilful 17-year-old striker, who was part of the squad that reported for duty against Portsmouth, made a distinct impression as a substitute in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Al Hilal in Riyadh last week.

Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Welbeck, an England U17 international, will now be regularly involved with the first-team and could be given his competitive debut before the end of the current season after being handed the squad number 47.

For Welbeck, it was back to Under-18 duties last weekend, scoring the first goal in a 3-3 draw with Everton.

“I’m trying to get as many goals as possible,” he told MUTV. “I scored again for the U18s and I want to keep on scoring goals.”

But the lure of first-team football is intense, especially after his experience in the Middle East.

“It was great,” the Manchester-born forward declared. “The players and the coaches were all really welcoming. They helped me get through it all. The training was so quick, but it was a good experience.

“It was a shame that I missed the penalty, but I’m over that now. I hope I can be involved with the first team more often, which can only help me improve as a player.”

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