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Wout Weghorst’s latest comments on Man United worryingly relate to Rasmus Hojlund struggles



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Wout Weghorst spent the second half of 2022/23 on loan at Manchester United but was unable to score a Premier League goal.

An emergency six-month signing due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from the club, United brought in Burnley striker Weghorst to help Erik ten Hag’s side finish in the top four in the Premier League.

Weghorst’s time at Old Trafford was filled with passion and desire but not with many goals. He scored once in the Europa League and once in the Carabao Cup.

However, Marcus Rashford’s most successful spell of the campaign came alongside the Dutch forward in the post-World Cup run of games.

Weghorst has spoken on his time at the club and believes that he had a positive impact on Ten Hag’s side, but the team were not quite made for a striker like himself to excel in front of goal.

 “They were super successful months in which we hardly lost,” he told The Mirror. “I was also very important for the team, as both a focal point of play and hard-working link between midfield and attack.

“Only my goals were lagging behind. That gnawed at me and was the reason why I lost my starting place.

“The Premier League is by far the toughest league in the world, with the best defenders. But we were rarely the dominant side creating chances. And the way we played was also different from what I was used to.

“In Germany and Turkey, the teams always played for me. I was the end of the line, while at United, I mainly had to ensure that others could excel. I think I managed that very well. But whichever way you look at it, I would have liked to score much more often.”

Now, fast-forward to Rasmus Hojlund’s first four months of playing at Old Trafford, and there are some worryingly similar plotlines involved.

Instead of an ageing Weghorst who was not rated by many, we have a superbly talented 20-year-old, nominated for the Kopa Award, which Jude Bellingham eventually won.

Hojlund has played 15 Premier League games and is without a goal. He was replaced early into the second half in their latest defeat against West Ham after receiving just one pass from both of his wingers in 57 minutes.

There are more eye-catching statistics that have been shared over the last weeks. But the short story is that United are not creating enough chances for him.

Of course, he also needs to show improvement in moments inside of the box and must change his approach when looking to hold up the ball against strong defenders. Yet, the main issue with both Weghorst and Hojlund is that they almost seem to facilitate play for these wide players. It almost looks like those wide players do not know how to play with a number nine in their team.

It worked last year because you had a red-hot Marcus Rashford scoring the goals. Weghorst’s hard yards and movement were aiding the English forward during his best goalscoring campaign. However, Hojlund is seeing his wingers miss chance after chance after chance this season.

Then when you have your only creative midfielder doing deep shifts for Scott McTominay to play advanced, and there’s minimal service from anywhere for the 20-year-old striker.

Should United have gone and got a world-class centre forward who could create chances out of nothing in the summer? Sure. But they didn’t. And Hojlund is certainly a better player than games are showing, but the lack of dominance and/or chance creation often means he’s running a graveyard shift up top.

Weghorst was mocked at the club last term. Whilst he was not good enough overall, his comments must resonate with a frustrated Hojlund, whose confidence is now running a lot lower than in the opening weeks of his United career.