He is set to become a major player for United. He needed time to settle, and was held back by an injury, but that sublime hat-trick against Norwich and that body swerve against West Ham to set up Antonio Valencia gave us a glimpse of what is to come next season.
Robin van Persie
A world-class player at his absolute peak. I haven’t been as excited by a United signing since Juan Sebastian Veron 11 years earlier, but of course this time we weren’t disappointed. He brought class and a near constant supply of goals, including the winner against City at the Etihad and that volley against Aston Villa.
On the pitch Rooney’s ‘slump’ has not been as pronounced as some suggest, because 16 goals and 13 assists is a real contribution to a title-winning season. But Ferguson rightly noticed a dip and kept hauling him off. How has Rooney responded? He asked to leave yet again. If you do that twice in two and a half years many fans think there should be no coming back that.
He’s had another impressive season when he’s played, and 17 goals from 21 starts is an incredible return. But you get the impression he won’t be content to be the new Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and simply settle for the odd start and a role coming off the bench. He’s too good for that and United could struggle to satisfy him.
It’s hard to know how to judge Welbeck. As a striker this season has been appalling, he’s appeared in 27 Premier League games and scored once. And yet his increasing pace, strength and quick feet suggest he could yet develop in to great player, who as he proved against Real Madrid, can also do a disciplined job for the team.
Sam writes for FourFourTwo and is responsible for the excellent Best XI Manchester United book
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.