Van Gaal: Welbeck's record not good enough for Manchester United
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits signing Colombia striker Radamel Falcao meant Danny Welbeck became surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Welbeck’s move to Arsenal in a £16 million (S$32.9 million) deal on transfer deadline day raised a few eyebrows, with former United defender Gary Neville among those to question the wisdom of allowing the 23-year-old to sign for a potential competitor for a Champions League place.
Welbeck, who came through the youth ranks at United, scored both of England’s goals in their 2-0 European Championship qualifying win over Switzerland on Monday (Sept 8) and looks set to lead Arsenal’s attack for the next few months in the absence of the injured Olivier Giroud.
Danny Welbeck when he was still wearing the colours of Manchester United. Photo: USA Today Sports
But van Gaal revealed that he had made up his mind to allow Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to leave to allow other young players, such as teenage striker James Wilson, to have further opportunities, but also because he was not convinced that Welbeck was good enough for United.
Either side of a loan spell at Sunderland in 2010-11, Welbeck scored just 29 goals in 142 games for the club.
By comparison Falcao’s record is remarkable, with 200 goals in 305 club games in a career which has seen the Colombia international play at River Plate, Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco in the past five years.
United fans hope that the sight of Falcao celebrating will be a regular occurrence. Photo: AFP
“I have given all the players a chance to convince me of their qualities,” said van Gaal on Thursday.
“Danny Welbeck was here since he was nine. After Sunderland he played three seasons for Manchester United but he doesn’t have the record of Van Persie or Rooney and that is the standard.
“That is why we let him go, because of Falcao but also the youngsters who can fit in and I repeat, that is the policy and that is what I am here to do.”
“Today in training he got one ball and it was in the goal. He confirmed it in his first training session with me but when I say this I put too much pressure on him," he added.