Premier League

Weghorst the latest striker to enter Man Utd’s retirement home

Karan Tejwani
Man Utd retirement home

Manchester United are set to complete a deal to sign Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley, getting his loan at Turkish side Besiktas terminated.

Weghorst is admired by Erik ten Hag, who is keen to bring him over to Old Trafford and add to his attacking depth with the squad lacking in that area.

However, the signing is another addition to the list of rather underwhelming forward signings Manchester United have made since 2013.

READ: Man Utd open Wout Weghorst transfer talks with Burnley

Manchester United’s transfer policy has been relatively haphazard since 2013 and that has been reflected in their attacking signings in that time.

Man Utd’s history of forward signings

The first forward they signed since Alex Ferguson’s retirement was Radamel Falcao in 2014 under Louis van Gaal, which was a bizarre deal considering he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament earlier in the year.

Falcao had missed the World Cup as a result and could never return to the form he showed before it, netting just four goals in his 29 appearances at Old Trafford.

READ: Weghorst and five transfers that could happen this week

Soon after, they signed Anthony Martial and although he showed early promise, he has failed to hit the potential many expected from him, especially considering the big fee he was signed for.

He is still at the club but is unreliable, largely owing to injury and inconsistency in attack, and was even loaned out to Sevilla in the second half of last season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was probably the best forward they signed, but his impact lasted just one season given he was 34 when he was signed.

He contributed to winning two major trophies – the League Cup and Europa League in 2017 – before an ACL injury ended his career with them as he moved to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Romelu Lukaku joined for a £75 million fee and he too had one impactful season, netting 27 goals, but his second campaign was troubled with fitness issues before his departure to Inter.

In the winter of 2020, with Manchester United lacking in attack, they moved for a 30-year-old Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua and he was used sparingly.

With Martial their primary forward, Ighalo was used for cup games and delivered where he could, as Manchester United made his six-month loan a year-long one in the summer that year.

In that summer, they agreed a deadline day move for a 33-year-old Edinson Cavani who was out of contract following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.

He delivered in his first season, netting 17 goals, including one in the Europa League final, but failed to win trophies with the Red Devils.

His contract was extended for a second season, but he struggled to deliver with his fitness being troubled, as well as added competition from another forward signing.

That signing was a 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, who made a sensational return to Old Trafford and netted 24 times in his first season, before missing out on Champions League football and stating his desire to leave the club.

An unsanctioned interview with Piers Morgan where he was critical of the club and manager was the boiling point, and his contract was terminated in November 2022.

Since 2013, Manchester United’s forward signings have been either old, inconsistent, short-term, hard to get returns on or all of them and that has affected them.

For starters, Weghorst fits two of those categories – whether he makes it to the other two will be determined by his performances once the deal is complete.

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