How Wout Weghorst showed promising signs in his Man Utd debut

Wout Weghorst made his Manchester United debut as a starter in the club’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday night and delivered a solid opening account for himself.

Having missed out on fellow international Kodi Gakow, Wighorst was the surprise choice for Manchester United in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s chaotic departure in November.

The towering Dutchman spent the first half of the season in Turkey with Besiktas but returned to England on loan from Burnley, for whom he has scored just twice in 20 appearances following a £20m move from Wolfsburg 12 months ago.

But the circumstances in which Wighorst finds himself at United are very different. Although far from the final product, the Red Devils have improved rapidly under Erik ten Hag’s leadership, have a true identity for the first time in years and are not far from facing serious challenges.

Weghorst, who chose the number 27 after his arrival because 2 + 7 = 9, has already said he thinks it will be Suitable for the Ten Hag system Because he likes to press from the front and he showed the kind of impact he can have in 69 minutes at Selhurst Park.

With Anthony Martial out, this looked a player keen to impress who seemed to have a point to prove in English football. He was alert and sharp in and around the box, showed a willingness to sniff out opportunities and affected the game with as much clever movement as he did with the ball.

Weghorst did not touch the ball in the move that saw United break the deadlock through Bruno Fernandes, yet the goal would not have been possible without him.

As the ball was played wide into the path of Christian Eriksen’s lead, Weghorst made a run into the box dragging several Crystal Palace defenders out of position as he followed, leaving space behind to open up beautifully for Fernandes. From there, the Portuguese could hardly fault with no one around him and goal difference in front of him.

Aside from the obvious aerial threat given his height, if that’s the kind of impact Weghorst will continue to make, he may not even need to score goals to be an asset to the club.

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