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Danny Welbeck's exit from Man United baffles Gary Neville


Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck

Gary Neville has admitted that he still cannot understand Manchester United's decision to sell Danny Welbeck, while at the same time Theo Walcott has said the England striker will be a better player at Arsenal.

Welbeck's £16m move on deadline day even came as a major surprise to Arsenal - who did not expect United to sell to a rival - and has been questioned by several past Old Trafford greats.

Neville also has the experience of working directly with Welbeck in his role as an England coach and, as well as believing that United overpaid for some of their own signings, is struggling to fathom why they would let Welbeck join Arsenal.

"I have to admit I thought the Danny Welbeck sale was a strange one," Neville said. "I can't work it out. I know I worked with him last week, but it's odd.

"Of all the prices paid this summer, there are right-backs and left-backs galore who have been bought for £14m, £15m, £16m. How have they got him for £16m?

"I can't work it out. It has helped out a competitor. I am struggling to work out the logic. It's odd in two or three ways."

Neville has also been surprised by United's wider approach in this transfer market with Louis van Gaal, the new manager, spending more than £150m on Luke Shaw, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo.

“It is not the way I would expect United to go about their business, I thought it would be more controlled,” Neville said.

“Falcao tipped them over the edge. It surprised and shocked everyone. How he (Van Gaal) gets them in that team I don’t know. How they get Rooney, Di Maria, Robin van Persie, Falcao, Herrera, (Adnan) Januzaj and (Juan) Mata into that team I don’t know.

“In one sense I am excited because they have signed world-class players. People jumped on the bandwagon last year and said they wouldn’t attract players. But they have a massive commercial operation.

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“They have overpaid. There is no doubt about that, but people will still go there. Now Louis van Gaal has to mould them into the team. He asked for three months but I doubt he expected to see what’s happened at the start of the season. Pre-season lulled him into a false sense of security.”

Walcott has also joined the Welbeck debate, advising his new team-mate to be “more selfish” as he seeks to establish himself as a striker.

“He’s going to be better for us than he was at Man United, definitely,” Walcott said. “He’ll get more opportunities and he’s got a point to prove.

“One thing I would tell him to do is be a little more selfish because he’s unselfish at times, which isn’t a bad thing, but I think he’ll get more goals if he’s more selfish.”

Welbeck does not think that he got a regular chance for United. At 23, he should now be approaching his prime and he believes regular football is important.

“That’s definitely what I need,” he said. “You become more confident and play much more at ease.

“It is well known I prefer to play through the middle, so when I get my opportunity I just want to show what I can do.”

Welbeck is expected to go straight into the starting team for the lunchtime kick-off against Manchester City on Saturday and stressed that he no longer wanted to speak about United. He was joined at Arsenal’s London Colney headquarters yesterday by Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta and David Ospina, who all took a full part in training following recent injury.

Ozil missed Germany’s two internationals as a precaution for an ankle problem while Ospina, the Colombia goalkeeper, is expected to come into the squad for the first time.

Arteta has been out since injuring his ankle in the Champions League against Besiktas but should start. Arsenal are also awaiting further assessment on Aaron Ramsey, who injured his ankle in Wales’ 2-1 win in Andorra. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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