Who Wout Weghorst? – Man United signing analyzed

By FPL360


Deal close? 

This article originally appeared on January 10 and has been updated with new information.

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. On Friday, Besiktas announced that Weghorst had ended his loan from Burnley, which opens the door for a move to Man United. Besiktas announced that they have received €2.8 million in compensation to terminate the loan early. Man United have made the deal official on Friday. 

“I feel privileged to be joining Manchester United,” Weghorst said in a club statement. I’ve played against the club in the past and it’s a fantastic feeling to now have the chance to pull on the famous red shirt. I’ve seen United’s progress under Erik ten Hag this season and can’t wait to start playing my part in pushing the team towards its aims”.

”Wout has a consistent goalscoring record across several European leagues, and his attributes will add a further dimension to our squad for the remainder of the season,” Manchester United football director John Murtough said. “We were also attracted by his strong personality and dedicated approach to football, which fits perfectly with the spirit that Erik is building within our squad. He has shown a huge desire to join Manchester United and be part of what we’re striving to achieve this season.”

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

The Dutch striker 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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21 Djordje Mihailovic | Montréal Impact to AZ Alkmaar | Fee: €6m

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20 Matheus Martins | Fluminense to Udinese | Fee: €6m

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Loaned directly to sister club FC Watford until end of season

19 Facundo Buonanotte | Rosario Central to Brighton | Fee: €6m

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18 Stipe Biuk | Hajduk to LAFC | Fee: €6.5m

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17 Yira Sor | Slavia to Genk | Fee: €6.5m

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16 Mislav Orsic | Dinamo Zagreb to Southampton | Fee: €6.8m

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15 Ayrton Lucas | Spartak Moscow to Flamengo | Fee: €7m

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14 César Montes | Monterrey to Espanyol | Fee: €8m

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13 Gerónimo Rulli | Villarreal to Ajax | Fee: €8m

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12 Ismaël Koné | CF Montreal to Watford | Fee: €8m

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11 Evander | Midtjylland to Portland Timbers | Fee: €9.5m

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10 João Félix | Atlético Madrid to Chelsea | Loan fee: €11m

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9 David Datro Fofana | Molde to Chelsea | Fee: €12m

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8 Maximilian Wöber | RB Salzburg to Leeds United | Fee: €12m

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7 Fernando Gorriarán | Santos Laguna to Tigres | Fee: €12m

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6 Andrey Santos | Vasco da Gama to Chelsea | Fee: €12.5m

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5 Álex Moreno | Real Bets to Aston Villa | Fee: €13.5m

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4 Carlos Alcarez | Racing to Southampton | Fee: €13.95m

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3 Gerson | Marseille to Flamengo | Fee: €15m

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2 Benoît Badiashile | Monaco to Chelsea | Fee: €38m

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1 Cody Gakpo | PSV to Liverpool | Fee: €42m

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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. 

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Jun 30, 2023

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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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