Brighton boss Graham Potter has described Danny Welbeck as a player of “incredible experience and proven quality” and stressed the forward has “a lot of time ahead of him”.
Welbeck, 29, joined the Seagulls last weekend on a one-year deal and could make his debut in Monday’s home clash with West Brom.
Having netted twice across 18 Premier League games for relegated Watford last season, he was then not involved in their start to 2020-21, before they announced earlier this month they had reached an agreement to allow him to leave on a free transfer.
The former Manchester United and Arsenal player has an England record showing 16 goals in 42 caps, with the most recent of those appearances coming in 2018.
Asked how confident he was that we could still see the kind of impressive form from Welbeck that he has shown in the past for England and United, Potter said: “Well, that’s the challenge for me, for the the club, and for Danny.
“He’s only 29. He has got a lot of time ahead of him.
“It can happen in a career that, for whatever reason, it doesn’t happen at a club. There could be lots of factors.
“From our perspective, we’ve got a guy with incredible experience and proven quality – you don’t play for the clubs he has played for, and play for England the (number of) times he has without that quality.
“He has probably had a bit of a setback in his career, but still wants to play football in this country, still wants to prove he can play at this level. He could have done other things, I am pretty sure. So that says something about his character and ambition.
“Then it’s about providing the environment where he can enjoy his football and be on the pitch as much as he can. We need to find a role for him because he helps the team in and out of possession, and he can threaten in the box. We are delighted with him.”
Potter’s men head into Monday’s contest with four points from five games so far. West Brom have two from five outings.
Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk begins a three-game suspension after his stoppage-time red card in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.