|Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck|
This season has been all about Manchester United’s youth bursting on to the scene and giving our senior players a run for their money! We’ve seen Evans and Jones keep Rio and Vida out of the team on two occasions already; while Cleverley and Anderson grabbed the central midfield positions for themselves and kept Carrick on the side-lines at the start of the season.
And the latest player to bring himself to the fore is Danny Welbeck, already an England international, he was picked by Sir Alex to lead the attack against Liverpool at Anfield and I don’t think any United youngster can get a bigger stamp of approval from Sir Alex than being picked ahead of Rooney, Berbatov and Hernandez for one of our biggest games of the season.
Welbeck’s progress this season has been stupendous, no one expected such a big impact from the 20 year old, he has already scored 3 goals in 6 games in the Premier league and 2 goals in the Champions league, he’s already established himself in the team.
Welbeck got himself ahead of last season’s top scorer, Dimitar Berbatov by the end of the pre-season matches, effectively becoming our no. 3 striker. He had a great start to the season, impressing alongside Rooney and scoring against Tottenham and then Arsenal, though he picked up an injury in the Arsenal game, he made his return from injury in style when he repaid Sir Alex’s faith in him, as he started the Basel game alone upfront and went on to score a brace, and the following fixture against Norwich he came off the bench to score.
Hernandez, who made himself the 2nd choice striker after a brilliant breakthrough season last year, including a superbly poached goal against Chelsea that sealed the title for us, as he usurped an in form Berbatov from the team; though his start to this season has been hampered with injuries including a concussion during the U.S tour that kept him out for almost 2 months. He scored a double against Bolton on his first start of the season and then came off the bench to score our equaliser against Liverpool at Anfield.
So onto the question of whether Welbeck will do onto Hernandez what he did to Berbatov and takes over his spot in the starting XI?
Well, I think it’s too early to call that. Hernandez looks like he’s still getting back to full fitness, and he has a lot more to offer. Anyone who thinks he’s going to struggle this season is daft; Hernandez’s great performances last season were down to his great movement and instincts in the box. It’s something no opposition defender can get used to or adjust to, like he did against Bolton as he bewildered defender Gary Cahill with his movement leading up to his goal.
Welbeck though a different type of striker compared to Hernandez, is just as exciting to watch. Welbeck over the past few years has developed from a tall and gangly youngster into a physically imposing striker, and this added to his ability on the ball makes him a potent threat in front of goal and in the build to it; he’s also shown he’s capable of playing alone upfront. He’s already making himself a fan favourite and I’m sure he’ll be England’s main striker come Euro 2012, with Rooney banned for the group stages.
If I had to choose one of them to partner Rooney right now, I’d leaning towards Welbeck to start the game, and then bringing Hernandez on to exploit the tired legs on the pitch. I know most fans would rather have Hernandez start the match, eventually it all comes down to the opposition we’re facing! Against a team that has slow defenders or who play a very high line, I’d pick Hernandez any day. But if it had to be a physical duel or a game where there was a lot of space to run with the ball, I’d go with Danny.
Everyone will have their own say in this matter but no matter who we pick to start, we have a fantastic talent moving about the pitch in the Red jersey.
Who's your pick to start alongside Rooney in the next game, and why? Let us know with your comments.