Rio Ferdinand has expressed his disappointment at Manchester United’s decision to sell Danny Welbeck, although hopes the striker is able to establish himself as a goalscorer of repute now that he is an Arsenal player.
Manchester United departure
Welbeck completed his transfer to the Emirates Stadium on deadline day, with Arsenal paying £16 million to sign the 23-year-old after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United as they pushed to recruit Radamel Falcao.
His departure from Old Trafford brought to an end a long association with the club, having joined Manchester United as a child and worked his way up into the first team over a period of around 15 years.
Ferdinand spent much time watching Welbeck develop after he was initially afforded a chance in the Manchester United senior squad and, like the club’s supporters, had high hopes he would be able to become a player of real value.
Alas, he was never quite given the chance to show his very best form for Manchester United, and Ferdinand believes his former club’s loss will be the significant gain of Arsenal if Arsene Wenger continues to display faith in the England international.
"I was surprised [at the move]," he told MUTV.
“He's a local lad and has come through from the under-8s. For him to leave was a little disappointing. I don't think we've seen the best of Danny. He's still got a lot more in him.
"I hope the Arsenal manager gives him the chance to be that responsible front man he wants to be. I'm sure you'll see him flourish."
Injury to Olivier Giroud resulted in Arsenal’s pursuit of Welbeck and, thus, all but guaranteed him a starting place in the central role he so craves and, barring any great catastrophe, he should retain this position for the next few months.
Welbeck has started both of the Gunners’ games in the Premier League since his acquisition, and one in the Champions League, and scored his maiden goal for the club in their most recent victory, coming away at Aston Villa last Saturday.
He was also able to register an assist at Villa Park as his side triumphed 3-0 and, following the game, the Arsenal manager claimed Welbeck has the potential to develop at the club in the same way as Thierry Henry did.
Henry arrived in north London from Juventus as a wide player but, over time, established himself as one of the world’s best strikers and, arguably, the most complete centre-forward to ever grace the Premier League.
It is some act to follow for Welbeck but he will, at the very least, be offered the regular action that was not afforded to him at Manchester United in order to reach fulfil his promise.