Roy Hodgson was picking the player before he moved to the Emirates…
England manager Roy Hodgson has claimed that Arsenal and England are now reaping the benefits of him keeping faith in Danny Welbeck earlier in his career, reports the Daily Mail.
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The striker has been selected by the 67-year-old every time has been available since he took over as national team boss. The Gunner has now started to repay that faith with five goals for his country this season and also impressing at his new club in North London.
“Danny Welbeck, of the young England players, is one of the most experienced because we have always kept faith with him,” he told the FA’s website.
“Even in the first squad I selected in 2012, Danny was in it, despite the fact that at the time he wasn’t featuring for Manchester United. We’ve kept faith with him through that time until his move to Arsenal where he is now getting lots and lots of plaudits.”
Earlier in his tenure Hodgson was forced to pick many players who were not regulars for their clubs, but now some of them have begun to break in to their respective first teams and this has also seen better performances from the England side.
“Even during those two years when he wasn’t playing every week, he still did a good job when he came with the national team,’ he continued.
“Strangely in the last six months I have to choose less and less of these younger players who don’t get a game in their starting line-ups for their teams because they seem to have broken into their starting line-ups, which I’m pleased about.”
The former Liverpool manager also praised Wayne Rooney for his performances and attitude since taking over as England captain. In the same summer the 29-year-old also became skipper at Manchester United, causing a huge increase in the amount of pressure on him to do well.
“Wayne Rooney took on two very important roles – captain of Manchester United under a new manager and then captain of England, taking over from a man he admired and was very friendly with, Steven Gerrard,” he said.
“Steven did a fantastic job in my first couple of years with the national team.
“I think Wayne had to step into big shoes and I think he has done that exceptionally well and taken a lot of responsibility.”