Wout Weghorst is on the verge of joining Manchester United, and he will soon be able to choose his shirt number.
The Dutch striker, who stands at a towering 6ft 6in, is set to arrive on loan from Burnley for the Red Devils’ second game of the season, as they compete for silverware on four fronts. Weghorst, 30, was set to play for Turkish giants Besiktas until the end of the 2022-23 season, forcing United to pay a £2.5 million compensation fee to end the loan agreement.
Manager Erik ten Hag has received backing from Old Trafford officials for the move, as he has been desperate to sign a striker throughout the January transfer window, having seen targets like Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix join Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea. But Weghorst appears to have finally got his man, as once he dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, he’ll seal a long-awaited deal.
Soon, club officials will ask the 30-year-old to choose his shirt number, with United fans hoping that he can become a cult hero over the next six months. Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s contentious exit in November, Weghorst might follow in the footsteps of a slew of Red Devils legends – and a few flops – who have worn the number.
The Netherlands international, known for his confidence and self-belief – which was often perceived as arrogance by his Burnley teammates last season – may feel bold enough to ask for the famous shirt, especially since United CEO Richard Arnold had been reserving the No.7 for a new Chelsea signing Felix, according to A Bola.
Aside from those seven, the former Wolfsburg striker will have a few lesser-known options to choose from, none of which he has worn at his previous teams. Weghorst began his career as a 28 for local team Emmen before earning their No.9 before being given the No.19 number upon his arrival at another Dutch club Heracles.
He then reclaimed No.9 at AZ Alkmaar, wearing it for Wolfsburg and Burnley. Weghorst has spent much of the season wearing No.10, which he was given at Besiktas. However, at the World Cup for the Netherlands, he wore the number 19 again, having previously worn the number 14 during his early days in the Dutch system.
However, at Old Trafford, the available numbers – within reason – are as follows: 13, 15, 16, 24, 26, 27, and 30. Furthermore, another shirt number could become available if a player joins the Red Devils before Weghorst formally chooses from his current selections. However, with United hoping to have their new striker registered in time for Saturday’s derby against Manchester City at 12:30 GMT, a swift decision will be required.