x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ferguson's delight for youngsters

Arsenal are not the only Premier League side bursting with young talent. Manchester United are hoarding a few stars of their own too.

MANCHESTER // Arsenal are not the only Premier League side bursting with young talent. Manchester United are hoarding a few stars of their own too. As the final whistle blew on United's 5-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday, amid the cheers for Sir Alex Ferguson's 50th anniversary in football and Cristiano Ronaldo's 100 and 101st goals for the club, there were celebrations for Old Trafford's latest striker - Danny Welbeck

The Manchester-born teenager, who came on the 63rd minute, capped off his Premier League debut with United's fourth goal. "He'll remember that for the rest of his life," Ferguson said. "He's intelligent. We won't have any problems. There are a few lads in the dressing room who will be knocking him down, don't you worry." Also finishing the game were league debutants Manucho, who had a couple of chances to score, and midfielder Darron Gibson, 21, while Jonny Evans started in defence in place of the injured Rio Ferdinand.

United also have twin defenders Rafael and Fabio da Silva, 18, up their sleeve. "We've got some fantastic young players who we'll just take our time with them," Ferguson added. Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov also scored alongside Ronaldo, who netted from two free-kicks, in the third and 88th minutes, to reach triple figures for United in 253 games. "Well he's back, right on song," Ferguson said of the winger, who missed the start of the season with injury. "His speed has come back. It's taken time, but every game he's got better. His acceleration is marvellous and he's scored his first goals from free-kicks this season."

Ferguson now hopes Ronaldo's return to form won't be interrupted by mid-week international football, when he travels with Portugal to play in Brazil in a friendly on Wednesday. sports@thenational.ae