Home » Why Erik ten Hag opted for Wout Weghorst ahead of more fancied names explained

Why Erik ten Hag opted for Wout Weghorst ahead of more fancied names explained

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Ever since the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, it was apparent that Manchester United needed reinforcements up front.

Manager Erik ten Hag has time and again explained during press conferences that his current options are not adequate if United are to compete on all four fronts.

However, the exorbitant summer splurge and the Glazers potentially selling the club have meant finances are tight currently and the club can only pursue loan deals in January.

Why Weghorst explained

Despite being linked with a whole host of star names, their rise in valuations post the World Cup meant those targets were kept in the back-burner for now.

Among loan options, the prominent names that emerged as legitimate targets included Memphis Depay of Barcelona, Burnley’s on-loan striker Wout Weghorst, Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix and AC Milan star Olivier Giroud.

Currently, it seems Weghorst is close to sealing his departure from Besiktas with all three parties locked in talks.

And ESPN have gone into detail to explain why United’s Dutch manager opted to go after his countryman when more glamorous options were in the market.

Ten Hag wanted a more traditional No 9, someone who could offer a different option to the ones that already exist in United’s ranks. And Weghorst fits that bill to the T.

The 30-year-old is no slouch when it comes to scoring either. He has nine goals and four assists in 18 games, one of the main reasons why Besiktas were so reluctant to let him go.

And Mark Ogden has specified in his report that the other options linked with United were either “castoffs who don’t play, strikers who have been injured, or those who just aren’t good enough.”

Depay has hardly played while Felix has not performed up to his potential at Atletico.

Other loan options like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, despite his good form this season and Vincent Aboubakar are nowhere close to the level required at Old Trafford.

United’s criteria included injury record & contract duration

Interestingly, the report also adds that United want to start with a clean slate next season and hence they were unwilling to offer any player a long-term deal.

“Another issue is that many players will only discuss a move if it involves a contract no shorter than 18 months, which would ensure a deal at Old Trafford until June 2024.

“Sources said that United have ruled that out because they want a clean slate at the end of the season. That means no obligation to pay a striker who won’t play for another 12 months.”

In the case of Giroud, “the complications of the Italian tax system would have meant the France international facing a significant tax bill if he were to depart before the summer, which ruled out the prospect of a short-term deal at Old Trafford.”

As already mentioned earlier on The Peoples Person, the Red Devils have identified Victor Osimhen, Benjamin Sesko and Harry Kane as the main summer targets ahead of next season.


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