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Manchester United

Man Utd told why ‘different’ Weghorst could be perfect January transfer as Meulensteen backs Ten Hag’s striker search

13:07 GMT 09/01/2023
Wout Weghorst Netherlands 2022 World Cup
Manchester United’s pursuit of Wout Weghorst makes perfect sense to Rene Meulensteen, with the Dutch striker set to offer something “different”.
  • Red Devils looking for another frontman
  • Dutch star currently on loan at Besiktas
  • Contracted to Burnley but deal could be done

WHAT HAPPENED? Erik ten Hag is in the market for another frontman during the January transfer window, with reinforcements in that area of the field required at Old Trafford following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Netherlands international Weghorst – who is contracted to Burnley but currently on loan at Besiktas – is reportedly being lined up for a short-term loan, with Meulensteen confident that Ten Hag “knows what he is doing” when it comes to bringing in a tall and powerful No.9 that offers a different skill set to more pacey and creative types such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

WHAT THEY SAID: Meulensteen – who was once Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford – has told BBC Sport of United targeting fellow Dutchman Weghorst: "He is different, that is why Ten Hag is bringing him in. He offers something else that the other Manchester United forwards don't have - but I don't think he will be a starter every game. He is tall, standing at 6ft 6in, and if United need to go a bit more direct and play off the knockdown, he is the type of guy that can offer that in the box. He is good at link-up play too, you can give him the ball then play through him. He is a good character who is determined, a hard worker and a fighter - those are his biggest traits. He is a nice lad too and there is no nonsense with him - Weghorst will put a shift in for the team. He possesses all the qualities Ten Hag wants in a player and so will fit in at United."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Meulensteen added on the Red Devils putting a short-term deal in place that should benefit long-term planning: "Ten Hag knows what he is doing, for sure. He is 30 years old so it is a stop-gap because of the ongoing rumours with the takeover of new owners. That is probably the reason Ten Hag is being forced to do loan deals. He needs to do something in the transfer window though, so in this case it's better to go with someone you know. It is not one for the long term but it is somebody who can do a job for them in the short term, especially in the latter stages of a game when they need to force something."

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WHAT NEXT? Weghorst only managed two goals through 20 appearances for Burnley on the back of a January 2022 switch from Wolfsburg, but he was part of a side relegated out of the Premier League at Turf Moor and has recorded nine efforts in 18 outings for Besiktas to go alongside the five international strikes he boasts for the Netherlands – with two of those coming in an epic quarter-final clash with Lionel Messi and Argentina at the 2022 World Cup.