Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes that keeping Danny Welbeck would have had a detrimental effect on the progress of the club’s young stars such as James Wilson.
The Red Devils boss shocked the Old Trafford faithful on deadline day last August by allowing Welbeck to leave the club for Arsenal for a reported £16 million fee.
The 23-year-old England international came through the United academy, and many observers felt that his departure was against the club's philosophy of bringing through young players.
Van Gaal, however, sees the transfer from a different perspective and even went as far as suggesting that keeping the Gunners’ new striker on the United books was in fact against the club’s philosophy.
He reasoned with reporters ahead of Saturday’s clash that Welbeck’s presence at Old Trafford would have hindered another player’s progress, with one of those expected to be James Wilson.
"I have already said what I think - he [Welbeck] was not a line-up player, he was more a substitute than a line-up player and he was already, with different coaches, not a line-up player and then with Mr Van Gaal the world is changing? No, the world is not changing,” he explained, according to The Mirror.
"They are the facts. They are not my facts, they are the facts of Danny Welbeck and we have Robin van Persie and we had James Wilson. And when you keep Welbeck then you don't give any chance to youngsters and that is also our philosophy.”
United youngster Wilson, 18, shot to prominence last season as he netted double on his full first team debut for the club in a comfortable victory over Hull City.
Van Gaal has been eager for the England U21 international to get more minutes under his belt this season, and he has so far made four substitute appearances in the league, accumulating 67 minutes of play.