Van Gaal defends selling 'substitute' Welbeck

Van Gaal defends selling 'substitute' Welbeck

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has defended his decision to let Danny Welbeck join Arsenal in the summer because he never saw the England striker as anything more than a reserve player.

Welbeck joined Arsenal from United for £16m on transfer deadline day in September, and will be looking to prove a point when he faces his former side for the first time in Saturday's late Premier League encounter at the Emirates Stadium.

Welbeck has scored five goals for Arsenal and the same amount for England since he left Old Trafford but, although United's attacking triumvirate of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao have failed to sparkle so far this season, Van Gaal insists he made the right decision to let the United Academy product go.

''Here, Danny Welbeck did not play every match. He was not a line-up player; he was more substitute than line-up,'' the Dutchman 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 - the facts are not my facts, they're the facts of Danny Welbeck.''

Van Gaal added: "We have 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 in the league.''

Van Gaal went on to reveal that he has delayed his decision on whether to buy Falcao because of the latest injury to the Colombian striker.

Falcao has endured a difficult start to his life at Manchester United since his deadline day arrival from Monaco, scoring just one goal in five appearances.

The striker has struggled for fitness and is yet to complete a full game for the Red Devils.

The former Porto and Atletico Madrid star has been unavailable for the last month because of a calf injury he sustained in training and it will take at least another fortnight for him to return to action.

United are yet to take up the option to buy Falcao because of his latest injury, which comes 10 months after he damaged cruciate ligaments playing for Monaco.

"Do you think we expected he'd be injured for so many weeks? Because of that (injury setback) maybe we didn't buy him," the United manager said.

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