by Lewis Ambrose
Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen has said that the club were wrong to allow Danny Welbeck to join Arsenal last summer.
Welbeck signed for Arsenal on deadline day in a £16M last summer and Michael Owen has said that his former club made a mistake.
The forward scored 29 goals during his time at Old Trafford despite only starting 90 games – many of them out wide.
As well as 13 goals in 33 England caps Welbeck now has eight Arsenal goals, a tally he’ll look to build on next season.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal deemed Welbeck surplus to requirements last summer as he added Radamel Falcao to his squad in a loan deal.
Wayne Rooney and ex-Arsenal forward Robin van Persie were already at the disposal of van Gaal, and the Dutchamn decided that selling Welbeck wouldn’t be an issue.
Falcao and van Persie had disappointing seasons, managing just 14 goals in a combined 53 Premier League performances. The Colombian won’t be at Old Trafford next season, while van Persie isn’t getting any younger.
“They are going to have some issues in the striking position,” Owen, who also played for Liverpool,” told ESPN FC.
“Falcao has gone, Robin van Persie is on the wane and then what?
“Wayne Rooney is a reliable goal threat, but he is not going to be around forever.”
Rooney is already approaching 30 and the next option is 19 year-old James Wilson, who has just 1 goal in an insignificant 357 Premier League minutes. Van Gaal used the youth product early in the season but seemed to lose faith in him by February.
“They have a huge void up front and after letting Danny Welbeck go. You quickly realise they need to spend a whole lot more to compete and they have already spent a lot since Van Gaal arrived.”
Wayne Rooney is surely going to start each week but – with rumours surrounding van Persie’s future – Manchester United will have to spend to find another striker as a partner or back up for their captain.
Danny Welbeck would be ideal for the role, but he’s in London now.
The England international found opportunities limited when Olivier Giroud was fit but with plenty of physical attributes, a great attitude and the ability to play anywhere across the front-line he undoubtedly remains important to Arsène Wenger’s plans.