Nowadays he’s an established and respected member of the first-team squad, but Danny Welbeck readily admits he needed plenty of help along the way to reach the top.
When our striker came through the ranks at Manchester United, he sat between Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo in the dressing room, and was regularly offered advice by players who had taken a similar journey to reach the first team there.
“When you get into the first-team dressing room, it’s a daunting experience,” he told Arsenal Player. “You’ve tried so hard to get into the first team or train with them. When I first got put into the first-team dressing room, I was between Giggsy and Ronaldo. You walk in and it’s like ‘woah, these are two top-class players’.
“Darren Fletcher was a massive help for me because he’d made that step up himself. Then you’ve got the Class of 92 - Giggs, Scholes, Neville, Gary Neville - plus Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic. You learn so much from these players. It’s not just how they are on the field, it’s how they are off the field as well.
“As you carry on training with the first team, you develop mentors. Each of the players, no matter if some of them aren’t that talkative or speak much English, you still learn from every one of them.
“There’s a lot of talent coming through at Arsenal right now. I know how it feels to make that step up from the academy and be with the first team. I’m always there to talk to, be it about football or something else. It’s an experience that I’ve been through myself and I’m always there for them to ask any questions.
“If I see something, I’ll tell them what I think is better to do in a certain situation. It’s how they take it in and how they deal with it. I think it’s important to give the advice to the young players going through.”
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