Dutch icon Marco Van Basten has had his say about Manchester United’s swoop for compatriot Wout Weghorst on a loan deal until the end of the season and it does not make for a flattering read as far as United fans are concerned.
‘I have my doubts’ Van Basten promptly replied when asked by Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport about his opinion on the move.
Kan Wout Weghorst slagen bij Manchester United?.. 🧐
'Ik heb er mijn vraagtekens bij', aldus @MarcovanBasten 💫
— Ziggo Sport Voetbal (@ZS_Voetbal) January 9, 2023
The three time Ballon d’Or winner advocated instead that the Red Devils solicit the services of PSV Eindhoven’s 32 year old striker Luuk de Jong, saying, ‘Take a look at Luuk de Jong. That is really a striker that you can play through the air.
‘I don’t think Weghorst is very strong in that regard. He can score a header, but he is more of a boy who can do something with his enthusiasm and force.’
The former Netherlands manager also found time to warn new United boss Erik ten Hag about the dangers of signing one too many of his own countrymen, stating ‘it can become dangerous if you have too many Dutch people and things are not going well.
‘You also saw that at Barcelona, when they had five Dutch people. Then it will work against you. Ten Hag has to be careful with that.’
The highly opinionated Van Basten is no stranger to controversy, once claiming people would rather watch Netflix than Atletico Madrid after a Champions league tie against Manchester City last season.
The Swan of Utrecht is not the only Dutchman who has been left underwhelmed by United’s supposed choice in the striking department. Wesley Sneijder, a man linked to the Red Devils by every tabloid on the planet for nearly a decade, has been equally dismissive in his analysis of Weghorst.
Speaking to VP, the former Inter Milan midfielder was quoted saying: ‘I think they’ve seen the trick with the free kick (against Argentina in the World Cup quarter-final), so they don’t fall for that in England anymore.
‘In terms of a striker, is he really someone United are waiting for? I don’t think so. They still have 300 of those in the Premier League. It must be a stunt. This really can’t be true.’
United have often been criticised for becoming somewhat of a haven for aging strikers, with signings like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Odion Ighalo and Cristiano Ronaldo all well past their thirties by the time they moved to Manchester.
Weghorst, who will turn 31 in August, represents a safe bet in a trying time as the Glazers seek to tighten the purse strings with a sale looming in the distance. The Dutch striker hails from Twente, as does Erik ten Hag, and the two will be anxious to prove their compatriots wrong if the transfer does come about.