The rising Manchester United star spent last season at the Stadium of Light and scored six goals while making significant development in his career.
Welbeck returned to Old Trafford this summer and has since scored five goals in eight matches for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team this season.
The 20-year-old could also make his competitive international debut for England’s senior team in Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
And he is aware of the importance of his time at Sunderland, as he said: “Just getting the minutes in the Premier League and to be playing week in, week out with the big boys was a really big step for me.
“I really loved my time there. Even off the pitch, living on my own, was different.
“Moving away from home helped me grow. I even had to cook my own food sometimes.
“It wasn’t up to scratch, but I improved. As a whole, I grew from a boy to a man.”