Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has suggested there are ‘two or three’ things wrong with the deal that took Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.
The former United forward linked up with the Gunners on the final day of the transfer window in a permanent move, which cost the North London club £16 million.
Welbeck then performed heroics for England as Roy Hodgson’s side secured a 2-0 win away in Switzerland to get their Euro 2016 qualification campaign off to a great start.
It’s a deal, which has left Neville baffled.
“There are right-backs and left-backs galore bought for £14 million, £15 million, £16 million. I’m thinking how have they got him for £16 million? I can’t work it out,” said Neville.
“It has helped out a competitor – someone probably vying for those third and fourth places. I am struggling to understand the logic behind the deal in two or three ways.”
“It is not the way I would expect United to go about their business. I always expect it to be a lot more controlled.”
Neville’s first point relating to price is an interesting one considering the amount of cash the club spent on new players over the summer.
Arsenal could effectively almost buy Danny Welbeck twice for the amount it cost United to sign Luke Shaw from Southampton, which perhaps leads to the suggestion that Louis van Gaal didn’t want to be left with an unhappy striker on his books, getting the deal done for the sake of transfer deadline pressure.
Neville is spot on in questioning the theory of selling to one of the club’s main rivals.
Bear in mind last summer, Jose Mourinho refused to let Demba Ba join Chelsea on loan, arguably not as talented as Welbeck, opting to keep him as a potentially unhappy back up striker for the sake of not wanting to see Arsenal get stronger.
The control Neville talks about is something which has in many ways, been beyond van Gaal’s control this summer.
Sides know all about United’s impressive wealth and they knew about the club’s need for new players in key positions, which instantly puts the prices up of players they are looking to try and buy.
One of the reasons Sir Alex Ferguson excelled in the transfer market was because he kept things quiet, but for this summer at least, van Gaal didn’t really have any choice.