Manchester United legend Gary Neville is still adamant that Louis van Gaal should never have allowed Danny Welbeck to join Arsenal last summer, because he's a completely different type of striker to anyone else at Old Trafford.
Welbeck jumped at the chance to complete a £16 million move to the Emirates in September, after being told by Van Gaal that his chances of playing regular first-team football under his management would be sparing to put it politely.
Van Gaal banked on Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie striking up an instant partnership just ahead of Wayne Rooney, but as Neville rightly points out none of that expensive trio can frighten with runs in-behind like Welbeck.
Neville has a point
In a wide-ranging interview on talkSPORT earlier this week Neville was reminded of his strong stance on Welbeck, one that hasn't changed midway through the campaign despite the England international scoring just four times in the Premier League for Arsenal.
Neville said: “I said at the time that I thought Danny Welbeck should have stayed at United. I still believe that now.
“The idea that when you have a four-man strike-force, you need different types – it’s been proven in the last few months that Manchester United have needed a striker who will run in behind.
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Do Man United fans agree?
The idea that he doesn’t score as many goals as Rooney, Falcao and Van Persie is a non-argument as far as I’m concerned, because you need all different types (of strikers).
For me, Danny Welbeck provided a different option for Manchester United in terms of stretching defences, something they have lacked in these last two or three months.”
Welbeck's departure still rankles with a large section of the Old Trafford faithful, espcially has he was a boyhood United fan who rose through the club's youth ranks to make the first-team.
Van Gaal had no place for sentiment in his thinking though, which will certainly be a big talking point when Welbeck returns to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time the massive FA Cup quarter-final between United and Arsenal on March 9th.
Elsewhere another forgotten United man has shared an update which suggests he could still have a future with the club. Sporting Lisbon loanee Nani is the man in question, revealing that he gets regular texts from United executive vice-president Ed Woodward.
Nani also insisted that United still holds a special place in his heart, sharing: I love Manchester United.
"The only decision I made was to play more and be me again, because I lost a lot of things there last season due to injuries and the change of manager.
"The new manager didn’t know me well and a lot of things changed. I needed to play regularly to be happy.”
Youngster gets new deal
Closer to home United have in principle reached an agreement over a new two-and-a-half year deal for Tyler Blackett.
The 20-year-old defender took advantage of a lengthy injury crisis to be a surprise fixture in the first-team earlier this season, making nine Premier League appearances.
Van Gaal clearly liked what he saw from the young centre-back, who will take his wages to £20,000-a-week in a deal that runs until 2017.
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