Manchester United thrashed Real Betis 4-1 in Thursday’s Europa League clash and Wout Weghorst finally got on the scoresheet at Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old slid home from close range after an initial effort was saved, but he could have bagged a hat-trick after spurning chances earlier in the game.
Weghorst was criticised following United’s 7-0 defeat to Liverpool and wasn’t having the best game against Betis after failing to hit the target with two good opportunities, but journalist Andy Mitten said on The Athletic’s Talk of the Devil podcast (13:00) that he ‘redeemed himself’.
The Dutch international should have converted a Luke Shaw cross into the back of the net but somehow steered his effort wide of the near post.
And he cleared the crossbar with a close-range side-footed effort after being picked out from an Antony cross. But after setting Antony up for a chance and scoring himself in the latter stages, Mitten believes Weghorst ended the game strongly to silence his detractors.
He said: “He’s going to be judged at United by how many goals he’s scored, and against Betis things were not going his way. I felt the tide was turning against him.
“There were two clear chances where he should have done better. He had a very good last ten minutes to redeem himself, (putting) a really good pass into Antony and when he scored near the end.”
Weghorst cut his loan spell short at Besiktas in January to join United until the end of the season. He scored nine goals with four assists from 18 games before arriving at Old Trafford but hasn’t had the same luck in England.
He has scored two goals with three assists from 15 games, but his role under Erik ten Hag is very different.
Weghorst has high levels of industry and is adept at turning over possession, so he brings more to the side than scoring goals and has also been used in a deeper role.
He does need to take his opportunities though, as the two chances he missed against Betis would probably have been buried by a more prolific striker.
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