Ten Hag favourite branded unfit for purpose at Man Utd, as Dutch legend blasts Liverpool man who believes his own hype
A player Erik ten Hag loves has been branded ‘not good enough’ for Man Utd, while a Liverpool ace has come in for criticism for believing he’s better than he really is.
The premature exit of Cristiano Ronaldo forced Man Utd to explore the striker market in January. A move for Cody Gakpo was heavily touted, though Liverpool pounced to pull the rug from under Man Utd.
In truth, the Red Devils were always unlikely to spend big in the winter window anyway. Their real aim was to sign a stop-gap solution ahead of pursuing an elite-level frontman at season’s end.
Burnley’s Wout Weghorst was the man Ten Hag turned to once his loan deal with Besiktas was cut short.
The Dutch international has been heavily favoured by his manager, making 18 appearances thus far with the vast bulk of those being starts.
Even Marcus Rashford moving into a central position of late hasn’t resulted in Weghorst dropping out of the eleven. Indeed, when Rashford moves up top, Weghorst drops into the No 10 position.
While he’s clearly earned the trust of his manager, his poor goals return has become a point of contention.
Indeed, he’s notched just two goals from his 18 outings and his profligacy in front of goal extended into the recent international break.
Weghorst took nine shots against Gibraltar earlier this week and registered an xG statistic of 2.16. However, Weghorst failed to find the back of the net against the team ranked 200th in the world who were also down to 10 men from the 51st minute onwards.
The Netherlands did register a 3-0 win, with Memphis Depay and Man City’s Nathan Ake scoring the goals. Centre-back Ake’s brace puts him level on goals with Weghorst for the Netherlands with five.
In the aftermath of the victory, Dutch legend Ruud Gullit could not contain his frustration at what he saw from Weghorst.
Gullit said on Ziggo Sport that he always looks at Weghorst “in a weird way”, and that “every now and then you see defects” in the 30-year-old’s game.
He subsequently added (via the Daily Mail): “I have a lot of admiration for him. But at the same time, I think he is not good enough for Manchester United and the Oranje (Dutch national side).”
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Van Dijk “thinks he’s better than the rest”
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk also came in for criticism from Gullit during the international break.
Van Dijk’s form for club and country has noticeably dipped this year and Gullit believes the Reds man may be buying into his own hype after earning rave reviews in recent seasons.
“In England they have already criticised him,” said Gullit. “He was selected for the world team of the year. He thinks he’s better than the rest.
“He plays so safe. Come on now, you’re so big and good. It is a positive criticism that we give. Isn’t he the best? Then show it.”
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