When Spurs fans sing “he’s one of our own” to the most prolific striker the Premier League has seen since, well since Luis Suarez left if were perfectly honest, I cannot help but feel a twinge of sadness and even jealousy.
It’s not Harry Kane’s scoring record that sends me green with envy, it’s the fact Tottenham fans have a homegrown hero to rally round, just as us Reds used to do with another England striker. Danny Welbeck’s departure left many of us disappointed, not just at the fact we were losing a Mancunian who’d risen through the ranks but also because many of us believed he was on the verge of acheiving the promise his potential had suggested and finally silencing the doubters.
Once Welbeck had joined Arsenal for £16 million on a permanent deal, United fans seemed to split into two camps- those saddened to see him leave, who thought we’d made a huge blunder in letting a young talent join our rivals and those glad to see the back of a player who’d often frustrated in front of goal.
At first, following a hat-trick against Galatasaray it seemed as though Louis Van Gaal had blundered in letting Welbeck join Arsenal for a fee Paul Scholes described as ‘a disgrace’ but since then things haven’t gone too well for the Longsight born forward.
Welbeck has four league goals in 23 games- including 18 starts, a stat made even less impressive by his ratio of just one goal in his last fourteen appearances. In many ways Welbeck’s FA Cup goal against the Reds, courtesy of Tony Valencia, has helped paper of the cracks of a rather uninspiring league campaign for the Gunners. Recently in the ‘must win’ clash with Liverpool, Welbeck was on the bench and there’s every chance he may struggle to break back into the Arsenal side, certainly as a striker at least which was one of the alleged reasons for his unhappiness at Old Trafford.
The loss of Welbeck and the goals he may have scored as been almost erased from many United fans’ minds by the prolific return of a certain Ander Herrera who’s managed five league goals in 19 games- starting just twelve of them. Herrera’s form is made even more impressive by the fact his brace against Aston Villa makes it three goals in his last six games- at a time when for Welbeck the league strikes have all but dried up.
We may get a pang of jealousy when we hear the Spurs fans praising Kane, but if we’re brutally honest, nothing Welbeck has done for Arsenal this season even remotely resembles young Harry’s exploits for the other side of North London.