- Weghorst has started 18 successive games
- Martial unavailable throughout that period
- Dutch striker has scored twice
WHAT HAPPENED? Weghorst made the jibe about his team-mate, whose absence has resulted in a greater amount of playing time for the Dutchman. United signed Weghorst on loan from Burnley in January and he's started 18 successive matches under Erik ten Hag.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Detailing how his United move came about in an interview with the Mirror, Weghorst said: “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. Anthony Martial was his striker and he was doing fine – but he is injury-prone and the manager wanted all positions double-staffed.
"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.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Weghorst has scored two goals in his 18 United appearances – rebound finishes in the Carabao Cup and Europa League – but Ten Hag has repeatedly backed the 30-year-old, insisting he's doing a good job and even fielding him in an unfamiliar No.10 role at times. He's delivered three assists in all competitions.
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DID YOU KNOW? Weghorst has only been unavailable for seven games in his whole career due to injury or illness – and three of them came when he had Covid-19 in 2021 while playing for Wolfsburg. On that fitness record, he added: "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.”
WHAT NEXT FOR WEGHORST? After coming off the bench for the Netherlands in their harrowing 4-0 defeat by France, Weghorst will hope for a better night when the Dutch take on Gibraltar on March 27 in Euro 2024 qualifying. His next game for United is the Premier League clash with Newcastle on April 2.