Manchester United are on the cusp of signing Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst from Burnley, via Besiktas. How will the Red Devils line up with their Cristiano Ronaldo replacement?
Weghorst has been identified by Erik ten Hag as the No.9 Man Utd need.
The manager had already dropped Ronaldo before the Portuguese’s unsanctioned interview with Piers Morgan one the eve World Cup, but Weghorst’s arrival still cures a headache.
READ: Wout Weghorst takes big step towards Man Utd transfer
Ronaldo was released after slamming Ten Hag and the club more generally, and has since joined Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Marcus Rashford remains, and now United’s top scorer can play in his preferred position.
The England international prefers to line up on the left, but has had to lead the line this season with Ronaldo throwing his toys out of the pram, Anthony Martial injured, and nobody else available.
Man Utd with Weghorst?
Weghorst is a hulking 6’6″ striker who solves that particular problem. He also scored twice for the Netherlands against eventual champions Argentina at the winter World Cup in Qatar, so there is a big-game player in there even if doubts remain after his two goals in 20 games for Burnley last season.
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With Rashford dropping back a position, things become even more crowded on the flanks. The England international will continue to get one of the spots after his team-high 15 goals this season. Antony – a €100 million summer arrival from Ajax – and the nascent Alejandro Garnacho have pulled ahead of Jadon Sancho for the second wide position in Ten Hag’s preferred 4-2-3-1.
Wout Weghorst has history 😎 pic.twitter.com/0iKfLWw71k
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Behind them, Casemiro has impressed in central midfield since his €80m arrival from Real Madrid, with Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes for company in the middle of the park. Fernandes is the most advanced of those, and looks increasingly likely to be named captain soon.
That’s because Harry Maguire has been thoroughly dislodged from central defence by Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. Recent reports linking the world’s most expensive centre-back with a transfer to Aston Villa have been denied, but his United future looks bleak.