I'm happy Welbeck is playing at Arsenal – Van Gaal

The 23-year-old has scored five goals in 12 games for the Gunners and the Dutchman believes he has benefited from the regular football he would have been denied at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal insists he is happy to see Danny Welbeck playing regularly for Arsenal – because he wouldn’t have got into the Manchester United team.

Welbeck has made an impressive start to his Gunners career after a €20 million deadline day switch from Old Trafford, scoring five goals in 12 appearances in all competitions while also netting five times in six games for England.

Van Gaal insists he is not surprised by the 23-year-old’s form and believes the striker’s progress is the result of starting every week – something he could never have guaranteed due to the presence of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao.

“He could have [continued] playing for Manchester United, but we decided that he could go and he has benefited from it,” the United boss told reporters. 

“I think that any player who is playing regularly in a team will always develop. He is now benefiting from playing every week. That was a question mark with Manchester United.

“It’s good to see he’s doing what I thought he would [at Arsenal]. I cannot judge him so well because I haven’t seen him play but now I shall see him I can judge him.

“But I don’t think it is so important how I judge him because he is now playing for Arsenal. He’s not a Manchester United player anymore so now we have to beat him also. But he’s not alone, we have to beat Arsenal.”

It has been suggested that Welbeck will be even more motivated than usual to score against his former club at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, and Van Gaal agrees.

“You know Robin van Persie was a player at Arsenal and he has already scored three goals against them since he left,” the Dutchman added. 

“It will be the same feeling I’m sure for Welbeck. This is the football world. That’s life, believe me.”

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