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It came as surprise to many in the football world when Manchester United opted to sign Netherlands’ and on-loan Burnley striker Wout Weghorst in place of the departed superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The forward’s loan signing shocked many as his Premier League record consisted of two goals for Burnley in the half season he spent with the side. The striker’s loan stint with Beskistas in Turkey has been somewhat more impressive but the Turkish Super Lig is considered a lower quality division than the English top-flight.
With the Red Devils linked to the likes of Joao Felix, the club opted to go in a different direction and signed Weghorst on loan until the end of the season.
Why Ten Hag Wanted Weghorst
Speaking before the Manchester Derby on Saturday afternoon, Man United manager Erik ten Hag, who has followed the tall forward “through the leagues,” explained just why he chose to bring in Weghorst to the club.
“He is adding a type of striker we don’t have in this moment and I’ve known him for a long time and I’ve followed him through the leagues,” Ten Hag explained to the media at Old Trafford pre-match.
The manager then went on to explain some of Weghorst’s talents as a striker, indicating that he will impress a lot of onlookers.
“He’s a box player who can also play counter-attack, you won’t expect it always when you see his profile but he’s a really good counter player.,” Ten Hag siad.
“I’ve seen many goals, especially in the Bundesliga where they play a lot of counter there, and he was really effective,” the Red Devils boss added.
The Dutch manager also explained that Weghorst will bring not just footballing ability to Man United, but a winning mentality and strong work rate too, which the club has often been accused of not having in recent seasons.
“I never only look at a player and his technical skills, I look at the personality so the total human being and I think he will contribute extra to that winning attitude,” the ex-Ajax boss said.
Weghorst’s role with the club could be vital as Man United look to battle for the Champions League places and maintain their challenge for the Premier League under their new manager.
Competition Up Front
The striker didn’t appear in the starting lineup or on the bench for his new club’s Manchester Derby win over Man City, but could well make an appearance in the side’s next Premier League tie against Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.
The striker, who netted twice in the Netherlands comeback against Argentina in the World Cup last month, will face stiff opposition for a starting spot, however. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will also be hoping to stake a claim for a starting spot and Weghorst will have to prove his worth.
United are rumored to be planning some big attacking signings for next summer so the tall Dutchman will have ti make his mark at the club in order to secure a longer stay.