‘Like a house’ – Wout Weghorst bigs up physique in dig at Man Utd teammate

·3-min read
 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Wout Weghorst says his “physique is like a house” which is proving beneficial when competing with one his Manchester United teammate for a place in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI.

The Dutch stiker has become a vital cog in Ten Hag’s side since his loan move from Burnley in January, starting all of United’s 18 games since.

He’s got just two goals and two assists in that time, and has received his fair share of criticism, but is clearly seen as key to the way Ten Hag wants his side to play.

And Weghorst himself admits he didn’t expect to feature so prominently for the Red Devils.

“All Ten Hag said was that he needed a striker who could fit into his way of playing. He certainly did not paint the picture as it is now,’ Weghorst said.

“That’s what I came for. But Ten Hag did say clearly, ‘It is up to you. You can force things and the best one plays’.

“My dream has always been to get the most out of my career. To tap my ceiling. It makes me incredibly proud and happy.

“Sometimes I think I am doing really well – but then I remember I am still only on two goals. That’s also how everyone looks at football. I try to teach my children to look at other aspects than just goals – and that works for me as well.

“I prefer to look at what is positive. When I scored my first goal at Nottingham Forest I said in an interview I can’t wait for my first goal in a home game in front of our fans. That took another few games, but it was a big moment for me.

“You only experience how big United is when you are part of it. This is an absolute top club, with all the attention from the outside. You have to find a way to deal with it, but I manage to be myself even in this environment.”

Weghorst was expected to be a back-up to Anthony Martial, but the Frenchman has played just 209 minutes since the turn of the year with five separate injury lay-offs taking their toll.

“Anthony Martial was his [Ten Hag’s] striker and he was doing fine – but he is injury-prone and the manager wanted all positions double-staffed,’ Weghorst added.

“My physique is like a house and has been all through my career. But I have never had an injury and never even had to miss a single match. It’s bizarre, really.

“What I always say: a lot is also determined in the head. At this level, you can no longer start every game fully recovered. So it also requires a lot of mental strength and mental resilience.”

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