Brendan Rodgers has admitted he was surprised that Manchester United allowed Danny Welbeck to join Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
The Liverpool manager joins a number of high profile football figures to question Louis van Gaal's judgement over the £16 million deal. Rodgers believes Arsenal have bagged themselves a bargain by signing Welbeck, describing the player as 'outstanding'.
Rodgers, who does not have many friends around Old Trafford was philosophical in his response when asked what he thought of the deal. He said the move was out of character for the Red Devils.
“It’s certainly something Manchester United have not done over the years,” he told talkSPORT.
"Arsenal will be delighted with the deal. For £16 million he’s a great talent."
Van Gaal attempted to defend his decision to sell the Manchester United youth product to a direct rival by citing the player's questionable goals record. Welbeck managed just 20 Premier League goals in around 92 appearances for Manchester United although many of those were playing on the wing.
For Rodgers, Welbeck remains a big talent despite his uninspiring stats. In fact Rodgers went as far to say the 23-year-old had proved to be outstanding in the past.
He continued: I saw him play for Manchester United against Real Madrid in the Champions League a few years ago and he was outstanding.
“Arsenal will be happy, they have got a very good player, and Manchester United strategically felt they could let him go.”
The waiting for Arsenal fans is almost over as Welbeck is set to make his full debut against Manchester City on Saturday. With Olivier Giroud out until February, Arsene Wenger is likely to drop Yaya Sanogo in favour of the England international.
Welbeck impressed on international duty, netting both goals in a 2-0 win over Switzerland. Manchester United fans will be fearing a repeat performance on Saturday, but they can take comfort from the fact that any goals Welbeck scores this weekend will be against their local rivals City.
Van Gaal has had to fend off plenty of questions over his controversial decision. Plenty of Manchester United legends have said they fail to see any benefit coming from the deal.
Most notably, Gary Neville said he could not understand why Welbeck was sold to Arsenal, but believes the striker will benefit from the move to north London. Former assistants Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen have also criticised the transfer as a sign of Van Gaal's short-term view for Manchester United.