As per the ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano, “Manchester United have reached full, verbal agreement to sign Wout Weghorst” on loan from Burnley.
The striker, currently on loan at Turkish side Besiktas, will cost around £3 million and is set to complete his dream move when Besiktas find a replacement for the Dutch international.
This replacement is rumoured to be Vincent Aboubakar, who has been displaced at Al Nassr by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. Who would’ve thought Manchester United would be in a transfer chain with Besiktas, Burnley and Al Nassr, eh?
The 30-year-old’s loan deal will see him at the Old Trafford until the summer, in a transfer that will add a different profile to manager Erik Ten Hag’s frontline.
Rumours of the move picked up following a Weghorst goal celebration that appeared to bid farewell to his Turkish fans last Saturday. Since then, Weghorst has been pushing for the move to United that Erik Ten Hag so desperately needs.
The Netherlands international has recorded eight goals and four assists in 16 league games in Turkey, and has an impressive scoring record in Germany, with 70 G/A in 118 Bundesliga games with Wolfsburg, spanning from 2018 to 2022.
Conversely, his brief spell in the Premier League was nothing to write home about, with just two goals in 20 games. That said, this could be an impact of the team he was playing under, with Sean Dyche’s Burnley side not being known for their attacking prowess.
During his time in England, Weghorst was rumoured to have “clashed with Burnley teammates due to his confidence, which some took as bordering on arrogance”, according to Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic. If true, this could be an unpleasant addition to the dressing room morale that Erik Ten Hag has worked so hard to maintain, most recently through a reported £200k-per-week salary cap, dubbed ‘The Ronaldo Rule’. On the other hand, Weghorst has been shown to display strict professionalism in the past, reportedly getting upset with teammates FC Emmen for not drinking enough protein shakes.
Despite having had a difficult time in England, the striker can undoubtedly add a style of play that the club does not have now. Standing at 6’5”, Weghorst won 3.41 aerial duels per game at Burnley and ranks well in tackles, pressures and interceptions, though going forward he has never had a particularly high volume of shots taken, though this could be a by-product of the sides he has played for or an emphasis on waiting for better opportunites.
Presumably a player mainly for the bench, Weghorst could provide some form of attacking output in the latter stages of a game. A notable example is his two goals in 17 minutes off the bench which saw his native Netherlands through to extra time against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the recent Qatar World Cup.
A transfer that United fans did not see coming, Weghorst may not be a popular option, but with the faith the supporters show in Erik Ten Hag, the striker will be given a chance by the Old Trafford crowd- but will he take it?