Wout Weghorst: Cult hero in Manchester United’s Carabao Cup campaign

Wout Weghorst, Manchester United, Carabao Cup (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Wout Weghorst, Manchester United, Carabao Cup (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /

Wout Weghorst has been immense in Manchester United’s campaign ever since his arrival in January. The Austrian will have an instrumental role to play for Manchester United in the coming months.

The Old Trafford club has finally ended their six-year title drought with a Carabao Cup/EFL Cup. Manchester United won the cup competition for the sixth time. The Erik ten Hag-managed side comprehensively defeated Newcastle United at Wembley to register their first trophy in six years.

With the win, the accolades are following the likes of Marcus Rashford for his consistent goal-scoring ability, Bruno Fernandes’ creativity and leadership qualities, the rock-solid defensive pairing of Varane and Martinez and Casemiro’s relentless energy in the midfield. However, one should not forget the selfless contributions of Wout Weghorst.

Wout Weghorst for Manchester United in 2023

It was almost certain that the club would sign a forward at least on a temporary basis after the departure of Ronaldo. Anthony Martial’s injury and Liverpool’s signing of Cody Gakpo accelerated their hunt to sign a striker. They found Weghorst, who was on loan at Besiktas from Burnley.

There was a huge discontent and divide amongst Manchester United fans when the club opted for a temporary solution rather than going all out for a striker. However, the Dutch centre-forward has not let the manager down. Though he has not scored as frequently, Weghorst has facilitated the goals for his teammates.

Across all competitions, Wout Weghorst has two goals and an assist to his name. There are a lot of things that go under the radar if he is just seen as a “goal-scoring” forward. Despite coming in January, Weghorst has clocked more minutes than Anthony Martial for Manchester United in the 2022/23 season. Alongside his availability, Weghorst is a pressing monster. In the 2021/22 season, the 30-year-old had averaged 32.2 pressures applied per 90. He stood on top of the list across the top five European Leagues.

Even in the Carabao Cup finals against Newcastle United, Wout Weghorst terrorised the defence. Though he did not get the goal, he helped Manchester United to double their lead with an assist to Marcus Rashford. He had three shots and all were on target and kept Karius busy. He contributed defensively, too. Weghorst won three tackles and had a crucial interception for his side.

Even though he joined the team just a month ago, Wout Weghorst won the hearts of Manchester United by singing the anthem. He was in awe of supporters after the final whistle. The scene was enough to make a grown man cry when the Dutch forward had dressed himself up with a Manchester United scarf and flag before the ceremony.

(Stats via: FBref)

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