Premier League

Rooney - Welbeck is 'brilliant'

United striker salutes fellow forward for displays this season

Danny Welbeck: Set for a major role with club and country in the opinion of Wayne Rooney

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Wayne Rooney believes Danny Welbeck has been Manchester United's player of the season - tipping his strike partner to star for England too.

The 21-year-old Welbeck spent last season on loan at Sunderland but has emerged as a key player for United this season having usurped Javier Hernandez in Sir Alex Ferguson's preferred line-up.

With Rooney suspended for the opening two games of Euro 2012, Welbeck could be set for an important role with England as well.

And his team-mate certainly has no doubts about the Manchester-born forward's ability.

Brilliant

"There are a few candidates for our player of the season, but I'd have to say Welbeck," Rooney told reporters.

"To play so many games (34) for United in his first full season has been brilliant. There has been a lot of pressure on him but he has done really well and scored important goals.

"Danny has been brilliant and has spent a lot of time working on his finishing, which has paid off.

"He's always a threat in the box, he's quick and difficult to play against. He'll become a great player, not just for United but England too."