As well as being a campaign which will largely be adjudged as a comparative success should Manchester United capture their 20th league title, this season has seen a number of the clubs younger players make giant strides.
None more so than Danny Welbeck who, despite not weighing in with a large amount of goals, has certainly excelled in other areas.
Such is the growing stature of the Mancunian forward that Welbeck is now one of the first names on the team sheet for the so-called bigger games having started against City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid in recent months. He was even picked ahead of Wayne Rooney for the Madrid home leg, a massive nod from Sir Alex Ferguson to the 20-year-old’s ability on the big occasion that was vindicated by his performance.
And speaking with United Review, Welbeck explained that a successful Euro 2012 campaign had given him a boost in confidence coming in to the campaign and has helped him to assert himself as a regular for both club and country this season
“The Euros was a really good tournament on a personal level and it gave me a lot of confidence coming into this season,” Welbeck explained.
“I think my performances have been more consistent [for United]. I haven’t always played in my preferred position but playing in different areas allows you to develop an understanding of the other attacking positions which can only benefit you as a player. The one thing I want to do is score more goals.”
Welbeck’s season defining moment came in the knockout stages of the Champions League with the striker opening the scoring in the Santiago Bernabeu in February and, unsurprisingly, he has cited that goal as a personal highlight for him.
He continued: “It was a massive day for the club and for myself. The manager picked the team that he thought could go out and get the result and we had chances to win the game there.
“Ultimately the tie ended in big disappointment for us, but I was pleased with my performance at the Bernabeu and it was an experience I’ll never forget.
“It’s always great to be playing in the big games, but I want to play in every game! [Laughs] Of course, it gives you confidence, but it’s something I just try to take in my stride while focusing on continuing to improve and develop as a player.”
Improving is something Welbeck definitely has done this year despite his meagre goal tally and appreciation of the industrious, hard-working front-man has been growing in recent weeks after a number of reliable displays have seen him move up the pecking order and chances to play in his preferred role up top are likely to increase with Robin van Persie looking jaded and off colour of late.