Manchester United supporters may associate the 2011-2012 football season with failure having not won a trophy for the first time since 2004. However, for United’s young striker Danny Welbeck, it will be remembered as a season of huge success.
Following a string of fine performances, the Manchester born striker managed to break into United’s side and found himself regularly selected ahead of Javier Hernandez and the previous seasons top goalscorer, Dimitar Berbatov.
After a successful loan spell at Sunderland last season, Welbeck returned to United an improved player and an England international after winning his first cap as a substitute against Ghana, whom he could of played for if he had chosen so.
However, even he surely would have not envisaged a season of anything much more than playing a bit part role, of which he would have to demonstrate plenty of patience until the boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt he was ready to regularly lead United’s attack.
The 21 year old, who made 39 first team appearances, scored the first goal of his 12 goals for the season in United’s second Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. He went from strength to strength in a season that saw him develop as a player. Pace, power, panache and persistence were all parts of his game that had come on leaps and bounds. His first touch was sublime and the link-up play that he created with Rooney was some of the best we had seen at United.
This goal against Everton in the 4-4 draw just summed up that link-up play to perfection. It almost already seems instinctive that Rooney and Welbeck know where each other is at all times. They remind me of a certain strike partnership but I can’t think who…
As for Danny’s best personal goal, it came in the same game against Everton as voted for by United supporters as one of the best goals of the season. It was a fantastic example of the control and finesse that Danny naturally possesses as a lethal finisher of the ball.
Sir Alex has indicated that he is moulding United’s latest side into one of pace and movement, reminiscent of a time Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez played together. Welbeck fits into this plan excellently considering his main strengths are speed and intelligence off the ball.
The future for Welbeck is very promising. He earned another three England caps in the season and has been selected as part of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad. It is hoped that he has a fruitful summer in Poland and Ukraine and returns to United injury free and ready for their 2012-2013 campaign.