Man Utd ‘playing with ten men’ as Gary Neville claims attacker was available in January for a reason

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd star slammed by pundit

It has been claimed that Man Utd are basically “playing with ten men” with Wout Weghorst in the team and Gary Neville has waded in on his start at the club.

Weghorst joined Man Utd on loan from Championship leaders Burnley during the January transfer window.

The Netherlands international was recruited after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club at the end of 2022.

Erik ten Hag was not afforded the funds to bring in a marquee replacement straight away so they instead looked at the loan and free agent market.

Weghorst was identified as an ideal short-term solution amid his great form for Turkish side Besiktas. He had grabbed eight goals and four assists in 16 league outings for them this term.

The 30-year-old has featured prominently for United in recent weeks. He has only provided two goal contributions in ten games but he has been important in build-up play and has been used as a number ten to good effect against Barcelona and Leicester City.

Presenter Richard Keys is not sold on Weghorst, though. He has argued that Man Utd are “playing with ten men” if the striker is in the team.

“You’re playing with ten men most weeks if he’s in”, Keys said on beIN SPORTS.

“I mean, he doesn’t do enough to justify a starting place does he? Come on, let’s be honest!”

Neville meanwhile has argued that Weghorst “wouldn’t be available on a free loan” if he was a player capable of scoring 20 goals in a season.

The club legend has also pointed out that Weghorst may not have the “quality” to lead United’s attack in the long term.

“Just look at Weghorst, collapsed on his back thinking come on, give me a break,” Neville said on Sky Sports commentary. “There are a couple of moments in the game where Weghorst hasn’t got to crosses and maybe could have done as well, it’s not just the clear chances that we’ve seen.

“We’ve got Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink and Robbie Keane in the studio who were very good finishers, it’ll be interesting to see what they think. I don’t know why Weghorst isn’t taking these chances. I suppose if Weghorst was taking the chances he’d be scoring 20 goals a season and wouldn’t be available on a free loan.

“He’s doing a lot of work for the team. I imagine he’s very popular with his teammates, doing a lot of that work that Manchester United’s players in the last couple of seasons have been accused of not putting in, but then there’s just that quality thing in the final third which maybe what counts in the big games and towards the end of the season, we’ll see.”

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