We ‘signed’ Wout Weghorst for Man United and the results answered transfer question

Since Cristiano Ronaldo&aposs departure from United in November, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are the only two recognised strikers in the first team. But with the former&aposs injury record and Jadon Sancho currently not involved with the squad, United are currently short of options in attack.

Ten Hag is actively trying to bring Weghorst to the club, with United working on a compensation package that would convince Besiktas to cut his loan deal short, allowing the Netherlands striker to move to Old Trafford on loan from Burnley this month instead. Weghorst signed for Burnley in January last year to try and help the Clarets remain in the Premier League, but the 30-year-old struggled, scoring twice in 20 appearances as Burnley were relegated to the Championship.

The striker was sent on loan to Besiktas in the summer, and he&aposs enjoyed his time in Turkey, scoring nine goals in 18 games so far this season. Weghorst managed two goals for Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup as well, with both goals coming in his side&aposs 2-2 draw with Argentina who won the game on penalties.

So, could Weghorst do better in his second stint in the Premier League, this time with United? Let&aposs take a look.

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2023 editor to arrange for Weghorst&aposs loan deal to be terminated with Besiktas, with the striker instead joining United on loan from Burnley, using FM23 to run the simulation. We also updated the Premier League with the latest results and transfers to get the most accurate results.

On his arrival, Weghorst received limited game time under Ten Hag, with the majority of his appearances coming from the bench. The striker did prove a good squad player though, and he managed an impressive goal return in the Premier League, doubling his tally from his time with Burnley in half the games.

Weghorst made 17 appearances across all competition at United, with five of them being starts and 12 coming from the bench. All five starts came in the Premier League where he was favoured by Ten Hag, and the 30-year-old scored four goals in those five, all of which came in the league.

Four goals in nine league appearances is a very good return, though the striker overperformed in front of goal, with his xG just 1.37. Weghorst made six appearances off the bench in the Europa League and two off the bench in the FA Cup, registering a rating of 6.95 per game across all competitions.

When compared to the rest of the United squad, Weghorst scored the fewest goals compared to his fellow attackers, but the Netherlands international had the third-best goals-per-game ratio (0.24), with Rashford (0.27) and Martial (0.3) better. Rashford scored 15 goals as he ended the season as United&aposs top scorer, whilst Bruno Fernandes (13) and Martial (10) followed closely behind.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2023 put together an overall best United XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics. This is what United&aposs best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2023:

Full United best XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford.

Despite his goal return, Weghorst didn&apost make the United best XI, purely down to his limited game time and low average rating. Rashford started in the lone striker role with Sancho and Antony on either wing, meaning Martial also missed out on a spot in the best XI.

After Weghorst&aposs arrival, United found themselves struggling in the Premier League, with wins coming less frequently. Despite this, Ten Hag&aposs side still managed to claim a spot in the top four, securing Champions League football for the following season.

Tallying 67 points in total, United beat Liverpool to fourth place by five points, with Ten Hag&aposs side beating the Reds 3-2 at Anfield. Man City found their best form in the second half of the season whilst Arsenal struggled at times, and Pep Guardiola&aposs side won the league, finishing with 30 points more than United.

In the cup competitions, United failed to win a single trophy, though they did reach one cup final, losing in extra time. In the simulation, Ten Hag led his side to the Europa League final against Juventus, but the only goal came in the 107th minute as the Italian side won 1-0.

A Bernardo Silva brace either side of a Fernandes goal saw United beaten by Man City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, whilst a 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest eliminated Ten Hag&aposs side in the Carabao Cup.

Overall, this simulation suggests that Weghorst could prove a decent signing, adding depth and goals to the United squad. The striker wasn&apost a regular in the squad, but on a short-term loan deal, Ten Hag may struggle to find an option better than the level of the Netherlands international.

Would you like to see United sign Weghorst? Let us know in the comments!