When the Danny Welbeck critics (I know, we can't believe they exist either ...) have a poke at Longsight's finest, their most common criticism is that his goalscoring record is poor. Manchester United fans would often rightly respond that A) his game is based around much more than kicking the ball in the back of the net and B) he's been played out on the wing often enough to skew such statistics.
However, it seems his record does matter after all. Explaining the decision to sign Radamel Falcao and sell Welbeck -- to Premier League rivals Arsenal, no less -- United manager Louis van Gaal explained:
"Welbeck has been here since he was nine. But he doesn't have the record of Falcao, van Persie, or Rooney. Or the standard. So that's why we let him go."
Ouch. Neither the record, nor the standard. TBB isn't about to argue that Welbeck is, or ever will be better than those three players (though often he could well be more useful than Rooney), but his mobility and link-up play in pre-season seemed as sharp as ever. Alas, it wasn't quite good enough to persuade the man who makes the decisions.
Van Gaal also emphasised how United's summer departures would pave the way for more opportunities for youngsters. If there is one silver lining to Welbeck leaving, it's that we can expect James Wilson to feature with more regularity. Let's hope he is able to dazzle the manager.