Who is Wout Weghorst? – Man United target is more than his Burnley numbers

FPL360
By FPL360
Who is Wout Weghorst? – Man United target is more than his Burnley numbers

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Deal close? 

Manchester United seem to have finally found their new no.9 in Dutch forward Wout Weghorst. Linked with a move from Besiktas—where he is on loan from Burnley—to Man United all week, Italian football expert Fabrizio Romano reported on Tuesday that there was now a major breakthrough in negotiations. Should the deal be completed, Besiktas will receive €3 million to terminate the loan early, and Weghorst will join Man United on loan from Burnley instead. 

Although a transfer is now more than likely, the deal still hinges on the Turkish club finding a replacement for the 30-year-old. Weghorst, in the meantime, seemed to have said goodbye to the fans following his club’s 2-1 win over Kasimpasa on the weekend. The Dutch striker went to the fan block, touched the logo, and then stood for a while on the field.

This gesture was interpreted as an immediate departure and caused some consternation among the leadership of the Turkish club. “I don’t know why he did that,” Besiktas director Ceyhun Kazanci later said to NTV Spor. “There is no clause in his loan contract with Burnley that allows him to leave this winter. Our contract with him expires in the summer.” Kazanci further underlined that if Burnley want to move on the striker, they will have to compensate Besiktas first. 

Weghorst to Manchester United – Burnley move seemed to end a dream

That now seems to be the case as Man United are closing in on signing the Dutch striker, who has scored nine goals and four assists in 18 games for Besiktas this season. In fact, the Dutch striker may have paved the way for the deal, with one report claiming that Weghorst had offered to pay the compensation to Beskitas himself. 

Whether Weghorst offering to pay for the compensation was just a gesture or more remains to be seen, but the episode is fitting for a personality that has not always been free of controversy. One example is his initial move to Burnley from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg for €17.5m in January 2022. A prolific striker in the Bundesliga, Weghorst had made controversial comments about COVID-19 vaccines on his Instagram account. 

The striker later deleted the post and apologized, but an appearance on the German TV station ZDF left further doubts on his believes on COVID and the pandemic. Those statements may have cooled off initial interest from bigger European sides, leaving Wolfsburg with few options to sell the striker, which, in turn, meant that Weghorst was sold below his €20m market value. 

Weghorst at Besiktas – Dutch striker quickly regained his form

To make matters worse, the move to Burnley also turned out ill-advised for Weghorst. Struggling for service, Weghorst scored just two goals and three assists for the Premier League side—too little to keep Burnley in the league. With Burnley relegated, the club looked to offload the striker last summer, and a loan deal with a €10m clause got the deal done for Besiktas. 

Usually, this is where the dream of moving to one of the biggest clubs ends. But Weghorst has quickly established himself as one of the top players in the Süper Lig this season, and with Man United looking for a classical no.9 under a Dutch head coach, the door now seems open for a dream move to one of the biggest clubs in the World

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But while it is a dream move for Weghorst, many Man United fans might feel apprehension about the transfer. After all, Alexander Sørloth, who has been productive in Turkey but then struggled in a top-four league, shows that good goalscoring numbers in the Süper Lig do not always translate well. 

Weghorst to Man United – Striker could flourish under Ten Hag

Weghorst, however, also had a strong record playing for Wolfsburg in a top-four league. The Dutch striker managed 59 goals and 20 assists in 118 Bundesliga games. A deeper look at his numbers also highlights his versatility. Tall and lanky, Weghorst scored just 13 of his overall 70 goals for Wolfsburg with his head. 

That number highlights that Weghorst, even though he is strong in the air, is more than capable of scoring from many different situations with both his feet, often in tight spaces. One thing that he does need is service, which is something that Burnley lacked. But under Erik ten Hag, Man United have cultivated a 4-3-3 system with wide players like Marcus Rashford and Antony providing service. Furthermore, in Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, exemplary servicemen play key midfield roles. 

Player Comparison

Besiktas JK

Borussia Dortmund

€14.00m

Market Value

€35.00m



Centre-Forward

Position

Centre-Forward


Jun 30, 2023

Contract until

Jun 30, 2026

Full Player Comparison

The system has been lacking a classic no.9. Someone like Sébastien Haller, who has been very effective for Ten Hag at Ajax. Although not necessarily a flashy player, Weghorst is precisely that: a dependable no.9 who, with the right service, will get the job done. All that at a low-risk price with potentially significant upside next summer should a deal work out.


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