2 things Wout Weghorst will bring to Man United – one is obvious, the other isn’t goals

Wout Weghorst has so far struggled to impose himself in English football since joining Burnley.

He was then loaned to Besiktas and now could return to the Premier League by joining Manchester United.

Although the 30-year-old only scored twice for the Clarets last season, he’s hit eight goals for Besiktas this term. He enjoyed his career’s best spell at Wolfsburg, where he hit 59 goals in 118 appearances between 2018 and 2022.

Besides the potential to score and assist up top, here are two things Weghorst will bring to Old Trafford –

Aerial prowess

Standing tall at 197cm, Weghorst is a strong aerial presence who could prove to be a difference-maker in set-piece situations or when United have to play more direct football. Mind you, Ten Hag likes a tall striker

Since the start of the 2020-21 season, he has scored 11 goals with his head, including three this season for Besiktas. He likes to park himself at the far post and anticipate a cross:

A typical Weghorst move — stay as far from the crosser as possible but be ready to slot it home.

As further proof of Weghorst’s movement, here’s the header he scored for Besiktas last month — stay close to the far past and wait for the ball to arrive:

On average, Weghorst wins 3.45 aerial duels per 90 minutes.

His height places him among the tallest Premier League players, with the tallest being Newcastle United defender Dan Burn (201cm).

Winning the ball back

Weghorst is great at making interceptions and tackles to win the ball back from opponents and start his team’s counterattacks. He’s in the top 10-15% of forwards for the key defensive metrics:

In Bundesliga, Weghorst made the most successful tackles among strikers (51%), including hard workers Robert Lewandowski (43%) and Timo Werner (39%).

Here’s an example of how he does it — the guy in white is about to get Weghorsted:

In Premier League, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, who is known for his work rate off the ball, averages 0.67 interceptions per 90 minutes. That’s quite high for a striker. 

In comparison, Weghorst averages 0.42 which means he’s not far behind Firmino in that aspect.

If the Dutchman can bring these qualities to Man United and also add goals, he might end up as a bargain. He isn’t a dream signing and there’s a reason he plays in Turkey but his skillset is something United could do with and Ten Hag’s signings have proved to be successful so far.

With several players more than capable of scoring goals at United now, signing Weghorst makes him an economic yet tactically sound option.

Catch highlights of Weghorst in action to know why he’s so special:

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