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Danny Welbeck: ‘There wasn’t an official approach from Ghana to come and play for them’

It wasn’t as hard a decision as people would have thought...

Former Manchester United and Arsenal FC striker Danny Welbeck has revealed that Ghana never presented itself as an option prior to his first senior cap for England.

The 32-year-old was born to Ghanaian parents (with his father hailing from the Greater Accra region and mother from Nkawie in the Ashanti region) in Manchester where he grew up to break into the Manchester United first team under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2008.

Welbeck was thus eligible to represent Ghana through his parents, but the Ghana Football Association (GFA) then led by Kwesi Nyantakyi did not officially show interest.

This is at odds with several reports in the media that suggested Ghana was pursuing the striker. In November 2008, a photograph showing Welbeck and then Black Stars coach Kwasi Appiah having met emerged.

Coach Kwasi Appiah was quoted by Ghana sports newspaper as saying: “The GFA purposely tasked me to speak to him about his future with the Black Stars, which I did.

“I have submitted my report on the trip to the GFA, and an update on Welbeck’s pursuit is included. I also had an interaction with some of his brothers and they all said they would love to see their brother play for Ghana, but as they put it, he is old enough to decide for himself.

“I spoke to Welbeck and he is willing to play for Ghana but there are a few things he has to decide on. The GFA is doing all it can to woo him, let’s all pray it works because he is a good player.”

But speaking to British-Ghanaian comedian and rapper Michael Dapaah on his YouTube channel some 14 years on, Welbeck who began representing England at the U-14 level, claims that Ghana handed him no dilemma prior to his progression to the English senior team.

Currently with 42 caps and 16 goals and two World Cup tournaments in the bag, Welbeck even made his Three Lions debut against the Black Stars in an international friendly in 2011 that ended 1-1 at Wembley Stadium.

He came on for Ashley Young for the final 9 minutes.

“I made my debut against Ghana. I remember my family [was] not in the England section and they were like booing me.

“It was a mad moment but one that is definitely a highlight,” Welbeck said.

Playing for England over Ghana? “It was natural for me because I have been playing for England since I was 14.”

“It was like a natural progression, trying to reach that next step. You want to get to the next age group – U-19s, 21s and reach the senior team.

“There wasn’t an official approach from Ghana to come play for them or anything like that so it wasn’t as hard a decision as people would have thought,” he disclosed.

Though Danny Welbeck does not represent Ghana, he has not lost touch with his roots. The Brighton frontman visited the country in 2017 and also donated £10,000 to help residents of his maternal hometown during the CoVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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