Manchester United have completed the signing of Burnley striker Watt Wighurst on loan until the end of the season, after ending his temporary spell with Besiktas.
Erik ten Hag has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his team with a striker after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Besiktas confirmed that Wighurst’s loan spell had been terminated by mutual consent with the Turkish club saying they would receive £2.5m in compensation, paving the way for the 30-year-old to move to Old Trafford after Manchester United paid Burnley £2.6m.
The racket’s wages will be covered by United and there is no option or obligation to buy.
“I feel very proud to join Manchester United,” said Wighorst.
“I’ve played against the club in the past and it’s great to now have the opportunity to wear the famous red shirt.
“I’ve seen United progress under Erik ten Hag this season and I can’t wait to start playing my part in pushing the team towards its goals.”
“Whatever happens in the next few months, I can promise to give everything for the club throughout my time here. I thank everyone who has played a part in getting me to this point, and now I look forward to meeting new team-mates and signing up immediately.”
There were hopes that the Netherlands international would prepare for Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime, but Ten Hag confirmed before the match that the new signing had not been signed up by Friday’s midday deadline.
Weghorst, who could make his debut when United face Crystal Palace Live on Sky Sports Next Wednesday, he scored nine goals and made four assists in 18 games on loan at Besiktas Stadium.
He played 19 international matches for the Netherlands, scoring five goals, including two goals in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
If I had said Weghorst to United two weeks ago I would have said ‘no chance’, but Ten Hag clearly has knowledge of him and will be caretaker until the end of the season. The club has made it clear that they don’t have the money and they need someone to come in and do a job.
John Murtaugh, Manchester United’s director of football, said: “Wot has a consistent goal-scoring record across several European leagues and his attributes will add an extra dimension to our squad for the remainder of the season.
“We were also drawn to his strong personality and dedicated approach to football, which fits perfectly with the spirit that Eric is building within our team.
“He has shown a great desire to join Manchester United and be part of what we strive for this season.”
“Ten Hag Wanted Plan B” | This deal makes us wait for next summer.
Sky Sports News head Kaveh Salahkol said:
“It’s a bit of a surprising move. Before the window, I don’t think many Manchester United fans thought they were going to sign a striker like Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley. He’s obviously played in the Premier League before and he hasn’t. We had a great time, he The Burnley team in which he played and scored only two goals were relegated.
“But to be fair to him, he went on loan to Besiktas, and he played very well. Also, when he got his chance in the World Cup for Holland, he played very well.
“You have to get into Erik ten Hag’s head. The reason he wants Weghorst is because he wants a Plan B and a different way of playing. That kind of forward, Man Utd just doesn’t have that in their team at the moment.
“That’s something Ten Hag has wanted for a while. Even in last summer’s window he was trying to sign strikers like Marko Arnautovic. United fans were left thinking broadly, but that’s what Ten Hag wanted.
“He’s also working out financially with United. They’re in a bit of a bind now. They don’t know what’s going to happen with the ownership situation and the Glazers. They spent a lot of money last summer too so they can’t spend really big money this month.”
“This deal takes them to next summer and they have big goals in terms of strikers for next summer.”
Adam Smith from Sky Sports:
United were desperate to sign a striker on loan during the January window after severing ties with Cristiano Ronaldo during the World Cup following the player’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticized the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
Weghorst appeared to wave an emotional goodbye to the Besiktas fans after scoring the winning goal in the 2-1 Super Lig win over Kasimpasa at the weekend.
The forward scored twice for the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-final against eventual winners Argentina, the second goal being arguably one of the most spectacular in the competition’s history – he equalized from an innovative free-kick pass to send the match into extra time.
The former Wolfsburg star hit the ground running in Turkey, scoring eight goals and recording four assists in 16 league games.
Who will move this winter? The transfer window opened in January Sunday, January 1, 2023 and closes in 11 pm on me Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
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