Van Gaal has ‘broken’ Man United’s identity, says ex-coach

Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has hit out at his old club and Louis van Gaal for their decision to sell Danny Welbeck.

The Red Devils academy graduate completed a late £16m move to Arsenal yesterday after being told by his new boss that his future at Old Trafford was uncertain.

Welbeck has ben a key squad member at the club over the course of the past few seasons, but with the additions of attacking talents such as Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, his role in the XI was diluted.

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A late offer from Arsenal was deemed to be too good to refuse, and Phelan believes that the choice to offload a local lad in favour of foreign talent has “broken” United’s “identity”:

“They have probably lost the way of Manchester United a little bit,” he told BBC Sport.

“Now, rather than produce, it may be the case where they are buying in.

“Someone like a Danny Welbeck has been part of United’s identity and that has been broken.

“What will happen in the future now, nobody knows but that thread has been broken now.”

Phelan worked at United under Sir Alex Ferguson during some of the club’s most successful years.