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Wout Weghorst brings a lot more to Manchester United than goals

Despite being in the midst of a takeover, Manchester United made some crucial signings during the last two transfer windows.

They include Wout Wehhorst, who was brought in on loan from Burnley to add some physicality to the forward line.

While the Dutch international has scored just one goal in all competitions, his versatility has seen him employed in several positions.

Some critics have questioned his impact, but manager Erik ten Hag has seen fit to start him in five consecutive league games.

Weghorst is contributing across several areas for Man United

The 30-year-old delivers across several areas on the pitch and is a big part of how the manager wants to set up his United squad.

Weghorst has brought different qualities to United. He is adept at pressing in the opponents’ half or playing deeper, as he demonstrated against Barcelona in the Europa League.

During the recent home game against Leeds United, Weghorst was employed in the number 10 role for the first time. After being 2-0 down, the Red Devils came back to draw the match 2-2.

In the final stages of the game, Weghorst was shifted to the deeper role, with Marcus Rashford playing through the middle and Bruno Fernandes moving to the right wing. 

The Burnley loanee shone in the role, creating openings and winning duels, which resulted in the equaliser from Jadon Sancho. 

Weghorst also stood out against Barcelona, where he pitched in at the heart of the midfield to deal with attacking threats.

He has also been doing well in pressing, where the team requires him to dissolve counter-attacking threats immediately. 

Despite having only 27 touches and 64 percent passing accuracy as a forward, Weghorst won three out of seven ground duels and had three clearances, one blocked shot, one interception and three tackles against Barcelona.

The striker also impressed with his pressing, often limiting the movement and passing of the Catalans’ star midfielder Frenkie de Jong. However, his inability to win any of his six attempted aerial duels cast a shadow over his performance.

As per Sky Sports, he sits third on the list of most presses since January 17, only behind Dejan Kulusevski and Erling Braut Haaland.

The Dutchman has also been a creative outlet, as evidenced by the ball he played to Alejandro Garnacho in United’s 2-0 win at Leeds on February 12.

The striker is a staple of Erik ten Hag’s plans, particularly with his ability to open up spaces for Marcus Rashford to make runs into the opposition penalty area.

Using his sizeable stature, Weghorst takes out defenders with his off-the-ball running, enabling Rashford to capitalise on his excellent run of form and score goals. 

Sometimes in football, the nuances matter more than what is on the scoresheet, and Weghorst seems to be proving that theory right.