Former club captain Gary Neville has criticized Manchester United’s decision to sell Danny Welbeck to Arsenal for only $26.5 million.
In a conversation with TalkSport on Wednesday, Neville opened up about his disapproval of United’s transfer policy from this summer, the low sale price of Welbeck and the decision to sell the player to a direct rival.
“I thought the Danny Welbeck sale was a strange one,” Neville said.
“I can’t work it out. After all the prices I’ve seen paid this summer and, obviously I’ve been working with him the last week, I’m thinking: ‘How is it just [$26.5m]?’
“There’s been right-backs and left-backs galore who have been bought for £15m, £14m, £13m this summer. How have they got him for £16m? I can’t work it out to this day. It really does feel strange that it’s a centre-forward and actually it’s helped out a competitor, someone who will be vying for those third and fourth places with United this season. I’m struggling to understand the logic behind the deal in two or three ways really.”
Couple the Welbeck sale with the decision to spend nearly $250 million on the likes of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and the former right-back struck a strong tone of disapproval over his lifelong club.
“It’s not the way I would expect United to go about their business; I always expected it to be a lot more controlled,” Neville said. Admitting that United “have overpaid” for the big name transfers, Neville wondered how manager Louis van Gaal planned on getting all the new signings onto the pitch at the same time as Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata.
Valid point. It wasn’t all doom-and-gloom for Neville, however, conceding his excitement over the new squad and noting that the purchases more than answered fans’ questions from a month ago when only Shaw and Herrera were through the door. Now, it becomes a matter of moulding the squad together, Neville said.
With only two points from their opening three matches, Sunday represents a ripe opportunity for United to earn their first victory of the season when former center-back Rio Ferdinand and Queens Park Rangers head to Old Trafford.