Gary Neville has lashed out at his former club’s summer activity, branding the sale of Danny Welbeck as strange and accusing United of lacking control.
England striker Danny Welbeck, who scored a brace against Switzerland in his nation’s first Euro 2016 qualifier, was sold to Arsenal for £16m on the final day of the summer window and Neville believes that this was below the player’s worth and why the striker had been sold to a direct rival in the first place. The former defender also called the transfer business which included eye-catching transfers of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao in the last few days, uncontrolled.
“It’s not the way I would expect United to go about their business; I always expected it to be a lot more controlled,” Neville told TalkSport.
On the question of Danny Welbeck, the Englishman said, “I thought the Danny Welbeck sale was a strange one. I can’t work it out. After all the prices I’ve seen paid this summer and, obviously I’ve been working with him the last week, I’m thinking: ‘How is it just £16m?’
“There’s been right-backs and left-backs galore who have been bought for £15m, £14m, £13m this summer. How have they got him for £16m? I can’t work it out to this day. It really does feel strange that it’s a centre-forward and actually it’s helped out a competitor, someone who will be vying for those third and fourth places with United this season. I’m struggling to understand the logic behind the deal in two or three ways really.”
Neville believes that United have not only undervalued Welbeck but overpaid for the players who have joined. However, he said that he was excited by the new “world-class” arrivals and it proves that United can attract these names without European football as well.
“The fans were asking big questions a month ago and now the Falcao one just tipped them over the edge. Di María was a big signing but the Falcao one came completely out of left field and surprised and shocked everybody.
“How they get Rooney, Di María, RVP [Van Persie], Falcao, Herrera, Januzaj and Mata into that team I don’t know.
“In one sense I am excited because they have signed world-class players. People jumped on the bandwagon last year and said they wouldn’t attract players. But they have a massive commercial operation. They have overpaid, there is no doubt about that, but they have proven people will still go there.
“Now Louis van Gaal has to mould them into the team. He asked for three months but I doubt he expected to see what’s happened at the start of the season. Pre-season probably lulled him into a false sense of security. They have to get the performances right.”
United are yet to win a game this season and have only taken two points from their opening three league matches.