Danny Welbeck will miss out on a reunion with Sunderland tomorrow – but the injured Arsenal striker looks back with pride on his time with the Black Cats.
In an interview with the Arsenal matchday programme for this weekend’s Premier League showdown, Welbeck insists that his productive loan stint with Sunderland was a key factor in his progress to being a full England international.
Welbeck swapped Manchester United for the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan in 2010/11, with six goals scored in 23 starts and five substitute appearances as Sunderland finished 10th in the Premier League.
Recalling his time in red and white stripes, Welbeck, who turned 25 late last month, said: “Yeah, Sunderland was a great year for me.
“It was a good experience, a learning curve and a pivotal point in my career because it was the first time I went out on loan in the Premier League.
“Of course, there are new surroundings too – you move out and live on your own.
“I was living in Newcastle and the training ground was about 15 minutes away, but I had to learn to cook and clean for myself.
“Before that, I was living with my mum and my family, so it was a big learning curve for me and it was a great year and a great experience.
“Steve Bruce (then the Sunderland manager) was great for me. He gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and I think we had a number of good results in that season.
“I made a lot of appearances and he really kept faith in me for the whole season. That was something that I appreciate a lot.”
Follow tomorrow’s match on our live blog. The build-up starts from noon and we’ll carry through to 6pm for all the action and reaction
Tomorrow’s Arsenal matchday programme features the full interview with Danny Welbeck.