Erik ten Hag explains why he has persisted with Wout Weghorst despite goalscoring struggles since joining Man Utd
- Ten Hag hailed Weghorst's fitness levels
- Striker scored for first time since January
- Martial injury means he keeps playing
WHAT HAPPENED? The United coach admitted that Weghorst has played so much due to Antony Martial's injury troubles, but he also hailed the Dutch striker's physical attributes after he ended his goal drought during the 4-1 win over Real Betis in the Europa League.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "He's physically capable of playing a lot of games, he's a very fit player, he recovers very good," Ten Hag told a press conference. "I expect that he'd play a lot but obviously we have an injury to Anthony Martial so that's the main reason he's playing every game from start to almost finish."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Weghorst was signed in January as a temporary solution in attack after Cristiano Ronaldo's sudden departure, but the 30-year-old has ended up starting 15 consecutive matches. His close-range finish against Betis was only his second goal for United and came after missing a couple of clear opportunities earlier in the game.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Ten Hag hailed Weghorst's persistence and his ability to read the game.
"As you can see he is often in the right position and he fails but he keeps going and so he showed great personality and character," added the United manager. "In this game, he could already have had his goal earlier on. He keeps focused, he keeps working, he keeps putting himself in the right position and finally he got his goal and his reward."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? Weghorst and his team-mates have very little time to recover as they host struggling Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.