Deadly Dan is top man for Rooney

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By NEIL JOHN­STON

WAYNE ROONEY has re­vealed his shock choice for Manch­ester United Player of the Year – Danny Wel­beck.

United are clos­ing in on a fifth Premier League ti­tle in six sea­sons af­ter es­tab­lish­ing a five-point cush­ion at the top.

Vet­er­ans Ryan Giggs and Paul Sc­holes have played key roles in over­haul­ing Man City at the sum­mit.

And Javier Her­nan­dez has also im­pressed in a run of 10 wins in 11 out­ings. But Rooney says strike part­ner Wel­beck gets his vote af­ter es­tab­lish­ing him­self in Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s plans.

Wel­beck, 21, has net­ted seven times in 25 top-flight games since re­turn­ing from a loan spell at Sun­der­land at the end of last sea­son.

He scored the win­ner in a 2-1 win at Arse­nal in Jan­uary and has also hit the tar­get in Cham­pi­ons League and FA Cup games.

Eng­land ace Rooney said: “To play so many games for United in his first full sea­son has been bril­liant – I’d give the award to him.

Threat

“There’s been a lot of pres­sure on him, but he has done re­ally well and scored some im­por­tant goals for us.

“Danny brings a lot of en­ergy to the team.

“He works hard and al­ways has de­fend­ers on the back foot, which is great for me be­cause 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.”

Rooney is con­fi­dent Wel­beck will fol­low in his foot­steps and be­come an Eng­land reg­u­lar.

He added: “Danny has 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 only for United but for Eng­land as well. He’s an ex­cit­ing player and credit to him for the way he has per­formed.”

BLUE-MIN’ MAR­VEL­LOUS!

Di Mat­teo cel­e­brates with his play­ers af­ter an amaz­ing come­back saw off Napoli in the last round PLEAS­ANT TRIP: Salomon Kalou

scored the only goal in Lisbon

LETHAL PAIR:

Wel­beck and Rooney

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