While the summer transfer window has been pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this hasn’t stopped them good ol’ transfer stories from doing the rounds.
Just days after playing in his side’s final 2019/20 Bundesliga game of the season, Wout Weghorst of Wolfsburg has been linked with a move to England.
Arsenal and Newcastle are among the sides keeping tabs on the forward, and could look to make a move when the transfer window opens. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future still up in the air and Alexandre Lacazette struggling to find the net, the addition of a player such as Weghorst would be a step in the right direction for Mikel Arteta.
As for Newcastle, well, it’s pretty obvious why they’ve been linked with a move.
But the question, who is he? 90min takes a look at some key things to know about the 27-year-old…
Immediately, the most obvious thing to note about Weghorst is his size. Standing at 6ft 5in tall, Weghorst uses his body well and is a nightmare to play against.
Considering his height, it will hardly come as a surprise that Weghorst won 137 aerial duels during the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. Of course, Weghorst has acted as a focal point at the top end of the pitch for Wolfsburg this season, while he has also been crucial to his side in both boxes, often climbing highest to meet any crosses that are flung into the middle.
Weghorst has often been compared to former Wolfsburg strikers Bas Dost and Edin Dzeko.
Dost, like Weghorst, also featured for Emmen and Heracles Almelo during the early stages of his career before eventually joining Wolfsburg. Dost is a similar height to Weghorst, and his ability to finish chances clinically has seen him compared to his fellow countryman.
Weghorst’s game is described by some as a blend between Dost’s and Dzeko’s as the former Manchester City striker is more of a target man, while he also links play well.
When considering a big striker, footballing fans would usually associate them with being somewhat lazy and perhaps more of a poacher in front of goal. But there can be no such criticism of Weghorst, who works tirelessly for his side – even if he isn’t the quickest.
In fact, out of every player in the Bundesliga in 2019/20, Weghorst ranks second in terms of intensive runs made – making 2,628 in total. To that end, he also sits third for sprints made in 2019/20, the Dutchman making 921.
To put that into context, Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies made six less sprints, while Jadon Sancho only made 866.
As well as being a tall yet tireless striker, Weghorst is a reliable goalscorer.
He managed 16 league goals in the 2019/20 season, and 20 in total. Weghorst knows where the goal is, and he has continued to show his composure time and time again this term.
In every campaign since the 2015/16 season, Weghorst has scored over 15 goals in all competitions, with his best tally (27 goals and eight assists) coming during the 2017/18 campaign.
At £32m, Arsenal, Newcastle or whoever Weghorst plays for next season, will have a player who is consistent and reliable – not just in terms of his goal contributions, but also through his work ethic and desire.
Well, the good news for Arsenal and Newcastle fans is that Weghorst has claimed that he would be open to making the switch to the Premier League. The bad news is that his preferred destination would be Liverpool as he gets ‘goosebumps’ from ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Weghorst told Goal and DAZN: “I always found Liverpool very special. I still get goosebumps from ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. There are other great English clubs too, and I always liked Milan because so many Dutch played there.
“I am ambitious and want to get ahead. Maybe at some point play at another club, whether in Germany or in England? But at the moment it is still far away. I feel good and try to achieve the maximum here.”
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