It was one of the most controversial decisions of last summer, but Louis van Gaal ended his clear-out of the Manchester United squad by letting youth product Danny Welbeck join Premier League rivals Arsenal.
However, he has shown at international level that he can be a top class striker on his day, as he sits as the top scorer in Euro 2016 qualifying with six goals. Furthermore, he would have certainly offered more than Radamel Falcao, who has scored just four times during his spell at Old Trafford.
Welbeck is a player who splits opinion. Many believe his finishing is so bad that he doesn’t deserve to be at a top club, whereas others think his all-round game is excellent and he can be a game-changer on his day.
The latter opinion seems more accurate, but the fact is Welbeck has only ever shown his ability in glimpses, never on a consistent basis.
His main reason for moving to the Emirates was to get more opportunities in his preferred striking role. It all started superbly, as he benefitted from an early season injury to Olivier Giroud to achieve this aim. His hat-trick against Galatasaray showed exactly what he is capable of when a manager puts faith in him.
Unfortunately for Welbeck, when Giroud returned from that long-term lay-off, he hit the ground running and when on a tremendous run of goal-scoring form, confining the former United striker to either the bench or a wide area.
It must have been difficult for Welbeck to take as that was the exact reason why he wanted to swap Old Trafford for Arsenal but it turned out, the Gunners could only fit him into their side as a winger, too.
Welbeck may be doubtful this weekend but it is potentially the second time he is returning to his former club following his controversial exit. Last time out, he scored the winner to knock United out of the FA Cup, another glimpse of the talent the 24-year-old has.
It is hard to establish whether Welbeck’s transfer has been a success. He has definitely shown more at Arsenal than he did in his time at United, but his form has been patchy to say the least.
It depends on how he and United do next season. Should Welbeck manage to break into Arsenal’s starting eleven up front then it must surely be seen as a success, but should United go on to finish above the Gunners and reclaim the title, Van Gaal will feel vindicated.