Wayne Rooney believes Danny Welbeck deserves recognition for his performances in his breakthrough season with Manchester United, suggesting the 21-year-old could be in line for the player of the season award at Old Trafford.
Welbeck has found the back of the net ten times so far this season and kept a starting spot at the expense of experienced international forwards Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov for the large parts of the season.
While he has impressed in front of goal this season, it is for his overall play and contribution to the team that Rooney believes Welbeck deserves credit for.
"There are a few candidates [for Player of the Season]… but I’d have to say Welbeck," Rooney told Inside United.
"To play so many games for United in his first full season has been brilliant. There has been a lot of pressure on him but he’s done really well and scored some important goals for us.
"He got an opportunity from the start of the season and he came in and played very well and scored a few goals. He’s an exciting player and credit to him for the way he’s performed – he’s played in a lot of matches this season."
The England pair have struck a decent rapport this season as United go in search of a record 20th title, although Welbeck was dropped in favour of Hernandez as late goals from Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young helped the Red Devils secure a 2-0 win over Blackburn on Monday to establish a five point lead at the top of the table over title rivals Manchester City.
While it is Hernandez who appears to be above the talented youngster in the pecking order of late, Rooney believes he has developed a good understanding with his countrymen this season.
"Yeah, it’s been good," added Rooney, when asked the partnership. "He brings a lot of energy to the team; he works very hard and always has defenders on the back foot which is great for me as it gives me space to get on the ball.
"He’s always a threat in the box as well, he’s quick and a difficult player to play against.
"I always try to help the young lads and I speak to Danny in particular a lot. He’s still young and sometimes the younger players need that guidance in games or in training to get the best out of them.
"Danny’s been brilliant for us and has spent a lot of time working on his finishing which has paid off. I think he’ll become a great player, not just for United but for England as well."