Summer has arrived and the transfer window is open. United are back in the Champions League and the potential for signings is endless. And when I say endless I mean ENDLESS because we have been linked with every player in Europe and it’s narf boring. We’ve also heard from pundits trying to assess United’s performances last season, and the phrase “flop Falcao” has been mentioned more times than slippy G’s retirement. Zzzzzz!!!
The media are becoming a regular assessor of United’s strike force with RVP struggling for form, Chicharito’s mindset questionable, Wilson not getting the game time he needs to progress and LVG’s side still ever reliant on one Wayne Rooney.
As a consequence of this regular topical debate, former United striker Michael Owen has stated that his old club were wrong to dispense with the services of Danny Welbeck last summer. Welbeck moved to Arsenal on the final day of the transfer window as United manager Louis van Gaal made space for the arrival of Radamel Falcao. Welbeck scored 29 goals in 90 starts for the Red Devils but was deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
When Danny Welbeck left the club it was a shock for many United fans and at the time I felt genuinely angry about it. Here was a kid who was United through and through, yet at just 23 years old we’d sold him to a rival in desperate need of a striker. In one full swoop we’d handed Arsenal a player they desperately needed and were struggling to get. At the time I have to admit that honestly it seemed a little idiotic. Danny Welbeck was never an out and out goal scorer, but what he was was a player who worked extremely hard for the team and setup his team mates.
But then there is another slightly less publicised side to the story. Danny Welbeck wanted to leave United, he wanted the chance to be the main man at another club. I can’t say I blame him for wanting to leave, but neither can I say the move has been a total success. Arsenal may have finished a place above United but Danny’s goal scoring record for the Gooners is hardly explosive. Welbeck has scored 4 goals in his last 34 Premier League games and has failed to score in 45 of his last 52 club games. Some Arsenal fans may have proclaimed the arrival of the new Pele, but truth is Wele’s stats at the Emirates are just as poor as they were for United. For Danny this run of form must be disappointing, considering this was a move which was in his mind, vital to reinvigorating his career.
So genuinely when we assess why Welbeck was sold last summer can anyone really pass judgement on United’s decision to sell? Even I can’t because it was the right decision based on Welbeck’s performances. United do need a striker right now, but unfortunately that man is not and has never been Danny. Why Arsenal? All I can conclude is that Danny got the final say in the transfer and after his years of service to United, maybe he deserved that final choice. Was it the right move for United? Yes. Was it the right move for Danny? Unfortunately, we can’t judge that based on one season’s performances.
What we do know is that United need reinforcements in attack. Preferably a striker with experience and a good goal scoring record. Only then will we see United competing for the title in 2015/16.