Louis van Gaal has defended his decision to sell Danny Welbeck to Arsenal by claiming the England forward failed to take the chance to save his Manchester career.
Welbeck, a £16m deadline day sale to Arsenal, scored twice in England’s 2-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday in his first outing since leaving Old Trafford.
Welbeck’s performance in Basle led to many observers suggesting that Van Gaal had made a mistake by allowing the 23-year-old to sign for a Premier League rival.
But after signing Colombian forward Radamel Falcao prior to offloading Welbeck and Mexican forward Javier Hernandez, Van Gaal edthat Welbeck had three years to prove his worth to United but failed to deliver.
“Danny Welbeck was here (United) when he was nine-year-old,” Van Gaal said. “After a season on loan at Sunderland, he then played for three seasons at United, but he doesn’t have the record of Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney and that is the standard.
“That is why we let him go, not only because of Falcao, but also the youngsters who can fit in.
“I have given all the players a chance to convince me of their qualities.”
Despite securing the signing of Falcao on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent transfer from Monaco, Van Gaal claims that he had already decided to sell Welbeck – who scored just 29 goals in 142 appearances for United — before Falcao became available over the final weekend of the window.
“We had spoken with Danny and also Chicharito (Hernandez) before the chance to get Falcao,” Van Gaal said.
“We have to be fair because, for example, I see that we have a lot youth that can fit in.
“They have to take the chance to play, but when you can hire or buy a player like Falcao, I don’t have doubts because he is one of the best strikers in the world and when you see his record it is unbelievable.”