Danny Welbeck will always haunt Manchester United

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Football News

It took all of one game for Danny Welbeck to prove Manchester United's decision to sell him to Arsenal a bad one. At least, that is what the reaction suggests.

Welbeck hit the headlines after scoring both of England's goals in a tricky away tie to Switzerland. The European Championship qualifier was probably England's most important game of the campaign and the 23-year-old was the star.

There was nothing special about his performance. Welbeck did as much good as he did bad. On another day his first goal would have flown off of his shin and gone over the bar but, then again, on yet another day, he would have picked out Raheem Sterling in the box after showing the Swiss defence a clean pair of heels.

The reminder

So it was not the perfect performance for the new Arsenal striker. He simply did his job as a striker. But his two goals are not the problem for Manchester United fans. It is what the goals suggested. Having strived for a chance up front at Old Trafford, he showed, on the first time of asking, what he could have done as Manchester United's main man.

It is a further reminder that Welbeck is the untapped pool of talent every Arsenal fan is hoping he is. His lack of first team action has placed him in the category of 'raw' but there is plenty to suggest he can be prolific leading the line in north London.

He may have given the ball away at times, but when given the chance he scored a goal. He had two chances and scored two goals. There is nothing more to ask from a striker just as you cannot ask for more than a clean sheet from a goalkeeper regardless of how shaky he looks between the sticks.

The bargain

No one will be surprised when Welbeck repeats that performance for Arsenal. It will happen. The Gunners have a better supply chain than England and will face worse defences than Switzerland this season.

On Tuesday morning, Manchester United fans could be seen lamenting Louis van Gaal's decision to sell their prized youth product. Meanwhile, pundits are lauding Arsene Wenger's business savvy. Snapping Welbeck up for just £16 million is being labelled as the "bargain of the summer" by some and the "bargain of the century" by others.

The decision

Manchester United were once the prime example for clubs to follow, bringing local talent through the ranks and winning titles in the process. When Welbeck was seen as surplus to requirements in favour of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, that tradition was broken.

Now Manchester United have two strikers on the wrong side of 28 and with dodgy injury records. If they don't perform while Welbeck shines, Van Gaal's reputation will be on the line.

The haunting

The problem for Manchester United is that the hype currently surrounding Welbeck is likely to be repeated every time he scores for years to come. Welbeck won't even have to score many, possibly 15 or 20 goals a season to be considered a top signing for Arsenal and a terrible loss for Manchester United.

Imagine if Welbeck goes on to score 100 goals for the Gunners and 30 for England. Van Gaal's decision to sell the striker to rivals Arsenal will define his Old Trafford career.

The legacy

In all likelihood, Van Gaal will not win a Premier League title at Manchester United. Realistically, he has his current three-year contract to rebuild the team before making way for a longer term replacement. That gives him few chances to leave a lasting legacy at Old Trafford.

A season-long loan for Falcao will not win Manchester United the league and will not benefit them in the long-term. The fact that Van Gaal chose to get rid of Welbeck permanently to make way for the Colombian was asking for trouble.

After one game for England, before Welbeck has even got his hands on an Arsenal shirt, it is only trouble he has found. Welbeck will be looking to build a legacy with the Gunners, working with a core of promising British players. Van Gaal, meanwhile has set about short term gains that now have the potential to turn into massive long-term losses.

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Manchester United
Danny Welbeck
Premier League

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