Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Man Utd secure Weghorst on loan to replace Ronaldo

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Jan 2023

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Manchester United have secured the arrival of Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley until the end of the season.

Weghorst had been playing for Besiktas, but United have taken over that arrangement, with the Turkish club confirming they received €2.8million (£2.48m) for the inconvenience.

Erik ten Hag was in the market for a new striker following the acrimonious split with Cristiano Ronaldo, whose contract was terminated in November after he criticised the manager and club in a controversial interview.

The United boss was open about his desire to bring in attacking reinforcements and seemed to confirm the club’s interest in Weghorst when acknowledging Anthony Martial could not handle the physical demands of being their only striker.

Links with Weghorst surprised many given the 30-year-old’s lack of impact – he scored two goals in 20 top-flight games – with Burnley in the Premier League last season.

But he has netted eight goals in 16 Turkish Super Lig outings this term and scored twice for the Netherlands in a lively cameo against Argentina at the World Cup.

Weghorst’s arrival is the continuation of a pattern in the transfer market for United, who have largely relied on signing either ageing or cheap centre-forwards for over a decade, with Romelu Lukaku – who lasted only two years at Old Trafford – arguably the only exception since acquiring Robin van Persie from Arsenal in 2012.

United confirmed the signing on their official website on Friday, though the former AZ player will not be eligible for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

“I feel privileged to be joining Manchester United,” Weghorst said. “I’ve played against the club in the past and it’s a fantastic feeling to now have the chance to pull on the famous red shirt.

“I’ve seen United’s progress under Erik ten Hag this season and can’t wait to start playing my part in pushing the team towards its aims.

“Whatever happens in the next few months, I can promise to give everything to the club for as long as I am here.

“I thank everyone who has played a part in getting me to this stage, and now I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting involved straight away.”

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