Wayne Rooney believes Danny Welbeck’s surprise decision to leave Manchester United for Arsenal was the right one for his career.
Born in Manchester and a lifelong United fan, it looked destined that Welbeck would play his career out at his hometown club after progressing from the youth team to the first team. However, the England international could never nail down a regular starting berth for his beloved Reds, something which would have become more difficult following the arrival of Radamel Falcao.
Having signed the Colombian international on deadline day Louis van Gaal was prepared to let Welbeck leave on a permanent basis, and the 23-year-old made a £16million move to rivals Arsenal. This has proved to be one of the most intriguing and most talked about transfer of the summer, but Rooney can understand why his former strike-partner decided to make the switch.
“Of course, Danny has been here all of his life,” Rooney told MUTV. “He is a Manchester lad so it is weird seeing him (there). But that’s football nowadays and players move on. I think, for Danny, and for his own personal career, it was probably the best move for him. He’s done great and scored a few goals and is playing well. Danny gives you what he always gives you – a good shift. He works hard for the team. At times, as I said to him, he works a bit too hard but he’s scoring goals and he’s doing well.”
During his time in Manchester, Welbeck scored 29 goals in 142 appearances in all competitions, yet it is often argued that this ratio would have been far greater had he been given a central attacking role as opposed to playing out wide. For the Gunners, he has notched five times in 12 outings, whilst at international level he has now registered 13 goals in 32 caps.
He comes up against his former pals for the first time since his departure on Saturday evening, when the Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on an Arsenal side which stands one place and one point above them in the league table. Van Gaal will be aware of the threat Welbeck poses to his team, but the Dutchman continues to insist he was right to let him leave Old Trafford.
“Here, Danny Welbeck did not play every match. He was not a line-up player; he was more substitute than line-up,” he said. “With different coaches not a line-up player, then came Mr van Gaal and the world is changing? No, the world is not changing. We have Robin van Persie and (James) Wilson, and when you keep Welbeck, you don’t give any chances to youngsters.
” That’s also our philosophy, to give opportunities to youngsters. And then also we could buy Falcao. So (if) that is not enough reason, then I don’t know – I’m not a very good manager. For him it was a very good decision because as a line-up player he develops himself much more. If it was right for Manchester United is dependable on how they play, how they score and in what position we shall finish.”
Will United regret letting Welbeck leave, or perhaps Welbeck will regret leaving United? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.