In Brief

Welbeck not up to scratch, says van Gaal, as Falcao checks in

Van Gaal forthright in dismissing Danny Welbeck's record - and praising his replacement

If Danny Welbeck was still on a high after his double strike for England against Switzerland on Monday, he was brought back down to earth by Louis van Gaal on Thursday.

At a press conference to unveil new signings Radamel Falcao and Daley Blind, the Dutchman was asked why he had sold Welbeck to Arsenal on deadline day last week. After all, it's a decision that has been widely criticised by United lovers, among them Gary Neville who said of the £16m sale, "I can't work it out".

Van Gaal's response was characteristically forthright. "When you ask me about Welbeck, he has been here since he is nine, and he spent three years here after being at Sunderland," explained the Dutchman. "But he doesn't have the record of [Robin] Van Persie or [Wayne] Rooney."

Proudly showing off Falcao, who arrived on loan from Monaco on the same as Welbeck moved to Arsenal, van Gaal couldn't resist having a further dig at Danny. "We have Falcao," he trumpeted. "Today in training, he had one chance and it is a goal. That's why we had to let [Welbeck] go."

Welbeck will have the chance to make van Gaal eat his words on Saturday, when Arsenal host Manchester City, while United must beat QPR at Old Trafford on Sunday. Without a victory in their opening three league matches – and humiliated 4-0 by League One outfit MK Dons in the league cup – United are experiencing their worst start to a season in living memory. Falcao and Daley Blind need to perform to ease the pressure on their new manager.

Falcao did himself no harm in the press conference, speaking confidently in English to the assembled reporters. "I'm very happy to be here, it's a big challenge for me, for my career. I always dreamed to be in a club like Manchester United," he said. "It's a new process, new team. This year come some players, and I think Manchester United build a big team this season, and then future seasons. And I would like to be here and be part of the project."

Van Gaal is confident that Falcao and Blind and the other players he bought during the summer in a £150m spending spree will help restore the good times to Old Trafford after a year of disappointment. "They have to perform our philosophy and that's not so easy to perform, we have seen that already," he said. "But I think the players we have selected will do that better, otherwise we don't have to buy these players I think."

Recommended

Premier League goes to the wire: the ‘most exciting’ final day ever?
Will Man City or Liverpool lift the Premier League trophy?
View from the terraces

Premier League goes to the wire: the ‘most exciting’ final day ever?

Phil Mickelson: downfall of America’s ‘apple pie’ champion
Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA Championship
Profile

Phil Mickelson: downfall of America’s ‘apple pie’ champion

A guide to the PGA Championship
The winner of the US PGA Championship lifts the Wanamaker Trophy
In Focus

A guide to the PGA Championship

Jake Daniels comes out as gay: a landmark moment
Jake Daniels made his first-team debut for Blackpool against Peterborough on 7 May 
View from the terraces

Jake Daniels comes out as gay: a landmark moment

Popular articles

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Depp v. Heard: what the latest battle has revealed
Amber Heard
In Depth

Depp v. Heard: what the latest battle has revealed

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

The Week Footer Banner