Wout Weghorst has been praised and criticised a nearly equal amount since joining Manchester United on loan from Burnley, but most agree that the 30-year-old isn’t a long-term answer to United’s striker woes.
Weghorst has scored just two goals from 16 games in all competitions this season, hitting the target with just three shots from eight Premier League games, so he’s expected to return to Burnley in the coming months without a permanent deal being considered.
The Red Devils have been linked with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane among others, so Steve Bates doesn’t believe Weghorst will stick around beyond the summer.
When asked if the Netherlands international has a future at Old Trafford, the former chief football writer with The Sunday People told Give Me Sport: “I wouldn’t think so, no. It’s quite clear that Ten Hag likes him, but I think, at the moment, he’s just doing a filling-in job. He’s not really a centre-forward, is he?
“The criticism of him is he’s not great in the air for a six-foot seven-inch player, he doesn’t hold the ball up brilliantly in the attacking positions, and he doesn’t score goals. So when you add all that together, he’s kind of on the back foot straight away.”
Cristiano Ronaldo had his contract mutually terminated in November, so Weghorst joined in January as his replacement due to Anthony Martial not being fit enough to regularly lead the line this season. The 27-year-old started only six league games after suffering an Achilles, back and hip injury, so Weghorst immediately became a regular upon his arrival.
And despite his lack of goals, Weghorst has high levels of industry (1.7 turnovers per league game) while making more opportunities for his teammates than himself (1 chance created per league game), so he’s useful to Ten Hag.
When the season comes to a close, United are sure to bring in at least one striker from their list of transfer targets, however, so Weghorst should return to Turf Moor in July. He’s been a decent servant but arguably isn’t good enough to lead them to glory next season.
Stats from Transfermarkt and WhoScored
- Erik ten Hag has given go-ahead to sign Goncalo Ramos from Benfica
- Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘concerned’ about Newcastle time-wasting
- Man Utd ‘first on the list’ for Ansu Fati, Jorge Mendes working on summer deal
- Erik ten Hag confirms double Man Utd injury boost ahead of Newcastle clash
- Man Utd defender Luke Shaw agrees fresh four-year contract
- Sheikh Jassim believes new Owners’ and Directors’ Test will not affect his Man United takeover
- Erik ten Hag to make decision on futures of Scott McTominay and Victor Lindelof
- Manchester United’s debt rises to almost £1 billion
- Erik ten Hag wants Andre Onana to provide competition to David de Gea next season
- Preview: Newcastle United vs Manchester United – prediction, team news, line-ups