Erik ten Hag has intimated that Manchester United may not be done with the January transfer market and may bring in new players before the deadline.
On Friday, the Red Devils announced the signing of Dutch attacker Wout Weghorst on a season-long loan from Burnley. The 30-year-old Dutch international had spent the first half of the season with Turkish giants Besiktas, requiring United to pay £2.6 million in compensation to end the deal and return him to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag was desperate to acquire a new forward before the end of the season, and after losing out on Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix to Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, he has finally done so. However, the arrival of 6ft 6in Weghorst may not be the end of the Red Devils’ business this month, as long as the “perfect player” becomes available.
“We have an extra player in Wout. “It’s what we need in the balance of the group,” Ten Hag revealed ahead of Saturday’s tense derby showdown with Manchester City. “I am satisfied with that, so if there are other opportunities we will be ready for that and looking for that, but it has to be once again the correct player.
“With the numbers here, I think with the addition of Wout and development of some players here – Alejandro Garnacho is the finest example but also Kobbie Mainoo and Facundo Pellestri – I think also we have some strong young players who can also fight for their minutes. They must earn it in training, and when they are ready to compete, we will not hesitate to play them.”
Weghorst, crucially, will offer Ten Hag a different attack option while competing for the lead striking job once held by Anthony Martial. “Wout has a solid goalscoring record throughout multiple European leagues, and his skills will bring a further dimension to our squad for the balance of the season,” said United’s football director, John Murtough.
“We were also drawn by his strong personality and devoted attitude to football, which matches well with the atmosphere that Erik is establishing among our squad. He has expressed a strong desire to join Manchester United and contribute to the club’s success this season.”
“I feel privileged to be joining Manchester United,” the former Wolfsburg and AZ Alkmaar striker said. I’ve played against the club before, and it’s an incredible sensation to now be able to don the renowned red shirt. I’ve observed United’s growth under Erik ten Hag this season and can’t wait to start contributing to the team’s success.
“Whatever happens in the next several months, I can guarantee to give everything to the club for as long as I am here. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point, and I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and getting involved right immediately.”