All the headlines were about Manchester United capturing Radamel Falcao, while Arsenal merely “settled” again after missing bigger targets. But in my mind Arsenal has done a shrewd piece of business in acquiring Danny Welbeck for £16 million, while Manchester United’s new “galactico” policy could quite possibly backfire in a big way if the Red Devils finish outside the top four this season.
United may well have made a colossal error in judgment by letting Welbeck leave the club outright, especially when Falcao’s long-term future with the club is not secure, and will probably depend on the pre-requisite of Champions League football next season.
Here are my reasons against the sale of Welbeck:
1. You don’t sell potential starters to a side that finished above you in the table last season if you are a truly ambitious club. If Welbeck really needed to be moved, then loan him elsewhere. Plenty of suitors were available in the Premier League. Unless, of course United badly needed to get him off the books. If that is the case, the financial situation is hopeless. Nonetheless, it is entirely possible fourth place will come down to United and Arsenal, and the Gunners have benefited from the Red Devils need to make a hasty and quick sale.
2. Welbeck has all the necessary quality to potentially become a star with regular playing time. Aside from his lack of clinical finishing, his first touch, movement, work rate and willingness to defend are all of a high standard. Arsene Wenger knows how to cultivate this sort of player. Louis van Gaal had a fantastic record with young home grown players at Bayern Munich such as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos. It is surprising that he would give up on Welbeck so quickly unless his hand was forced by higher-ups which I strongly suspect.
3. Falcao has never played in England before and Robin van Persie’s injury record is something to worry about. On a side note, this is the same reason Manchester City shouldn’t have let Alvaro Negredo leave the club since Sergio Aguero and Stefan Jovetic have a poor injury record. It’s imperative that you have cover while the big signing acclimates to the league. Let’s not forget Falcao himself is coming off a devastating injury, which torpedoed Monaco’s Ligue 1 title hopes last season and ruled him out of the World Cup.
4. Arsenal’s young British core will be together for years. Welbeck is a talent for the future. With this core growing together, the Gunners will be a threat for years to come. Welbeck can flourish in North London in a similar way that fellow England striker Daniel Sturridge has with Liverpool. He has taken his game to another level and erased questions about his finishing ability after moving from Chelsea to Liverpool in January 2013. Welbeck could replicate this feat if he’s given the backing of the manager.
5. United supporters always talks about being a “different” type of club. Chelsea and Manchester City buy players, while United grows them. For many years this was true, but if you compare the calculated moves of Chelsea and Manchester City this summer with the seeming desperation of United’s transfer business, the contrast makes the Red Devils look poor. Danny Welbeck is quite possibly the best player to come through United’s vaunted youth system since the class of 1992. Unfortunately, at 23 he has been deemed surplus to requirements and sold to a direct rival. This is the sort of move that was unthinkable even last season.