Wout Weghorst hopes his Manchester United stay stretches beyond this season
On-loan target man Wout Weghorst hopes to persuade Manchester United to keep him beyond the end of the season.
Erik ten Hag’s side raised eyebrows with their January swoop for the 30-year-old striker, who had spent the first half of the season on loan at Besiktas from Sky Bet Championship leaders Burnley.
Weghorst had also been surprised when he initially heard of United’s interest but the towering striker has been quick to settle in, starting all three matches he has been available for since joining on January 13.
The Netherlands international has so far provided an intelligent focal point and scored his first goal in Wednesday’s 3-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first leg win at Nottingham Forest.
“Great night,” Weghorst said. “A great result, great feeling, of course, so, yeah, a good day.
“(My job is to) deliver and help the team. We were looking for a target man, that was something the club was looking for.
“Of course, with (Anthony) Martial there was only like one striker, more of a number nine. They just wanted to add one and then it’s up to me and to take your chances.
“The moments are there and, yeah, then like I said then it’s just to deliver, contribute and helping the team also in the way I’m playing, the way I am pressing.”
Weghorst has slotted into Ten Hag’s team promisingly and linked up well with players he would like to call team-mates beyond the end of the season, with his loan from Burnley expiring in June.
“I’ve seen the first couple of days now, almost a week, how big the club is in everything – facilities, the club, even the quality in the team,” Weghorst said.
“The way we’re playing, there’s a lot of quality in everything and that’s definitely something you look to work in, in this winning atmosphere.
“I think the first week went well and it’s up to me to deliver and contribute and to help the team as good as I can. I’m quite confident I can play a role in it.”
Asked if he hoped to show Ten Hag that he is worth keeping beyond this loan stint and stay even longer, Weghorst said: “Yeah, of course. The situation now was how it was, and it was for a loan.
“It’s a massive club so I will try to do everything as good as I can, and if it will work out of course it will be a good option.”
In the immediate future Weghorst can look forward to his home debut as United prepare for an Old Trafford triple-header – with a potential fourth successive home game pencilled in against Leeds.
Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Reading and Premier League match against Crystal Palace currently bookend the return leg against Forest that will surely end in the Red Devils heading to Wembley.
Bruno Fernandes completed Wednesday’s 3-0 first leg win at the City Ground, where Weghorst scored late in a first half that started with Marcus Rashford recording his 10th goal in as many games with a storming solo effort.
“You see the great run he’s in, he’s delivering, every week you see it in training,” Weghorst said of Rashford. “He’s got a lot of quality.
A sensational solo effort from @MarcusRashford 😮💨#MUFC || #CarabaoCup
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 26, 2023
“He’s also a really good guy, a really open guy, he was the first one who came to me when I scored my goal.
“We have a good relationship. You see the qualities he has. He’s extremely important for us, the way we play, he’s a massive part.”
As for Forest, boss Steve Cooper believes the full debut of January arrival Danilo was a positive on a challenging night for his team.
“It was good that he has got another experience in England,” he said of the Brazilian, who made his debut off the bench against Bournemouth.
“He’s had one away game and now one at home and he felt and smelled the atmosphere which was its normal self, noisy and supportive of the team.
“Whatever happened tonight, he is going to be better. Certainly showed some really good signs.
“For the guys who haven’t played in the Premier League, it is different. He is a young lad, 21, so whatever we feel tonight the whole thing will be a positive.”