Ryan Giggs defends Danny Welbeck sale

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Ryan Giggs does not believe Manchester United have abandoned their youth policy simply because Danny Welbeck was sold to Arsenal, with this deal the subject of great scrutiny.

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Good deal

Welbeck joined Arsenal on deadline day for a fee of £16 million which caused some upset at the time, and has resulted in greater consternation after he scored twice for England in the victory over Switzerland on Monday.

Gary Neville, the former Manchester United captain and current England coach, has expressed his despair at the deal, particularly given that the club were prepared to strengthen one of their direct rivals for the Premier League’s coveted top four positions.

Giggs, though, has pointed towards Louis van Gaal’s reputation for placing his faith in youth as a demonstration that the departure of one player does no represent an alteration in strategy from the club.

Giggs response

“United will never change,” Giggs said at Soccerex. “The history of the club is to play exciting football, give youngsters a chance and keep to its traditions.

“Okay, Danny Welbeck has left but this is a manager who gave Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Thomas Muller their chances. Tyler Blackett has played every game so far this season. We also have Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson.

"Players will leave but we have to make sure youngsters come through. United fans demand it. We are proud of our youth system. That's what separates us from a lot of other clubs, we always give young players a chance.”

Why the Welbeck departure is something of shame given that he had been on the books at Old Trafford since the age of 10, the player’s want was to operate in his favoured position - something Manchester United could not guarantee.

They have, then, afforded Welbeck the chance to further his career rather than be condemned to a place on the bench, having been put in a position where a sale made greater sense than to retain him.

Really a bargain?

But the issue for most, as it is for Neville, will be the decision to sell the 23-year-old to Arsenal. It initially appeared out of the question that the club would consider doing business with a side that harbour the same ambitions, yet they took the decision to do so. It was certainly an odd one.

Something else that wrangles is the transfer fee involved, with the deal even being hailed as ‘the bargain of the century’ by Jamie Redknapp, which seems a little over the top. But what is Welbeck really worth? £20 million or more? Surely not.

£16 million does seem about right for Welbeck as he currently is. It was, after all, the same price Liverpool paid to sign Mario Balotelli, and he is a forward of far greater goalscoring repute than Arsenal’s most recent acquisition.

Welbeck is a player still with plenty to prove although should eventually make the deal seem a relative snip for Arsenal. He is certainly capable of doing so.

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Manchester United
Danny Welbeck
Ryan Giggs
Premier League

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