30/05/2012 10:17, Report by Adam Marshall

Ex-Red: Welbeck surprised me

Former Reds defender Arthur Albiston is looking forward to watching Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012.

The 21-year-old striker was confirmed in Roy Hodgson's final squad this week despite concerns over the injury he sustained in the derby defeat to Manchester City. Welbeck's growing maturity at Old Trafford has surprised the ex-United full-back, who felt the demands of playing as a central striker would have been too great for such a young talent. However, the local lad netted 12 times in a promising first full season with Sir Alex's team.

"I didn't think Danny was strong enough to play up front," admitted Albiston to "I thought he could be like Nani or Ashley Young, cutting in from the wing. He had goals in him but I didn't see him as a striker because he wasn't strong enough. But he's filled out, his legs are stronger and he wants to run which means defenders immediately back off to give you more space.

"It's great that he's going to the Euros. Even if he didn't play, he'd still benefit but both he and Phil Jones should come back better for us hopefully. Danny had a bit of experience on loan at Sunderland and did great. It was his first full season with us and it's not easy to play up front here.

"Although I like Jermain Defoe, I think Welbeck has a good chance of starting in the Euros if he does well against Belgium in the friendly on Saturday. Andy Carroll's not had the best of seasons even if he's had two or three good games at the end of the campaign, and Wayne's suspended of course for the first two games."

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