Manchester United’s Van Gaal stands firm on Welbeck

Manchester United,Louis Van Gaal,
Manchester United,Louis Van Gaal,

New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is not in the mood to play around when it comes handling 23 year old striker Danny Welbeck. Even though he has two years left on his contract but Van Gaal told him he could walk at any time.

Speaking with the press yesterday the ManU boss made himself very clear.

I know what I said to Danny and Danny knows exactly what I said to him,” Van Gaal said, when asked about the decision. “I assume that Danny Welbeck is not saying anything about our conversation and also in that conversation was [the assistant manager] Ryan Giggs and he doesn’t say [anything] either, and that is the way it should be.”

With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie the first choice pairing, Welbeck was thought to be ahead of Javier Hernández as the third striker. Van Gaal’s plan has been thinking of playing a 3-5-2 formation that would seem to require four forwards.

Van Gaal has given strong consideration to promoting James Wilson, the 18-year-old who scored twice on debut in last season’s 3-1 win over Hull City at Old Trafford.

There has been speculation that Welbeck may move to Hull, with the forward thought to be priced around £20m. However they are not on the list of destinations that Welbeck, wishes to play so at least for now a deal sending him to Hull is not likely.

Where Welbeck is going is still unclear. He may still stay put and play at Manchester United but first he and his new boss needs to be on the same page. It does look like perhaps Tottenham, Everton and maybe Arsenal all have interest in the young striker.  But they will move with caution no doubt.

Phil Jones hopes to speak to management this week about a new deal. The star defender has two years left on contract but most feel that any extension will not take place until the transfer date of September 1st passes.

A preview of their Sunday match with Sunderland from the BBC:


Van Gaal’s Reds can’t be judged for a while yet of course, but there’s undoubtedly got to be a swift and marked improvement from their opening day performance. With the signing of Argentina World Cup defender Marcos Rojo, and the return of Robin van Persie, there surely will be.

United have to improve on their results against Sunderland from last season too. Gus Poyet’s first three games as a manager against them ended with him celebrating every time, including their own away win in May which played a huge part in the Black Cats staying up.

They shouldn’t have any relegation worries whatsoever this time, but I’ve been around Sunderland AFC long enough to know that nothing is ever that straightforward with this most contradictory of clubs!

I like their power in attack yet can’t see bucket loads of goals. The midfield has decent strength in depth but maybe lacks a truly class playmaker-cum-match winner. Defensively there’s knowhow and solidity but question marks over pace and fitness. And the goalkeepers? Well they’re both alright.

As with so many early season games it’s too close to confidently call, but both teams were stronger away last season and I think the general feeling will be one of surprise if that doesn’t ring true again – and one of alarm, already, for fans of Manchester United.


  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 12 league games at Sunderland (W9, D3) since a 2-1 defeat in March 1997.
  • Sunderland have hosted Manchester United 13 times in the Premier League but they have only kept a clean sheet once.
  • Sunderland’s victory at Old Trafford last season was their first league win over Manchester United in 24 attempts.


  • Sunderland’s only defeat in their previous seven league matches came against Swansea at the Stadium of Light on the final day of last season.
  • Gus Poyet’s side have scored in each of those last seven league fixtures.
  • Last season, Sunderland lost their first four home games of the campaign. They had to wait until 27 October for their first victory, which came against Newcastle.
  • They only won five of their 19 home matches in the league in 2013-14 and earned 18 points, the joint-worst record in the division.
  • Adam Johnson (4) and Fabio Borini (5) were the only two players at the club to score more than two Premier League goals at home in the whole of last season.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have not lost their opening two league matches since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93, when they were beaten by Sheffield United and Everton.
  • Manager Louis van Gaal has lost his first two matches of a domestic league campaign on only one occasion in his career – at AZ Alkmaar in 2008-09.
  • United won 10 matches away from home last season – only Arsenal fared better, with 11 victories.
  • They have lost just one of their last seven Premier League away games – a 2-0 defeat by Everton in April.
  • Wayne Rooney needs one more goal to become joint-third all-time scorer in the Premier League alongside Thierry Henry with 175 goals.