Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal claims Danny Welbeck ran out of time to prove himself at the club following his transfer to Arsenal.
The arrival of Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day sparked the England international's move to the Emirates for a fee believed to be in the region of £16m.
Van Gaal now boasts a fearsome strike force consisting of the Colombian, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie supplemented by 18-year-old James Wilson, who scored twice on his full debut for the club last season.
Speaking for the first time on Welbeck's departure during the official unveiling of Falcao and fellow deadline day signing Daley Blind, the Dutchman compared his former forward's meagre goal return to those of his current options, suggesting the 23-year-old was simply not good enough for his squad.
"When you ask me about Welbeck, he has been here since he is nine, and he spent three years here after being at Sunderland," van Gaal told reporters. "But he doesn't have the record of Van Persie or Rooney. That's why we let him go – because of Falcao and also the youngsters we have to come in."
Welbeck was one of 14 players to leave Old Trafford during a summer of transition at the club. During pre-season and the opening month of the Premier League van Gaal has sought to supplement the losses of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra by introducing academy products in Tyler Blackett and Reece James and insists he will have no hesitation in fleshing out his squad with more youngsters, providing they take the chances handed to them.
"We let go 14 players and only bought six," he continued. "Then more than eight positions are vacant and they are vacant for the youths. I have used a lot of youngsters in pre-season but also in the season. I am always willing to give young players chances but they must take the chances.
"I cannot do that for them, they must do it themselves. But the possibility is there, the youngsters know that, and I believe United has come to me because of that."