Wout Weghorst speaks out on Manchester United struggles after being hauled off at half-time vs Barcelona


The Dutch striker still believes he has a big role to play this season (Pictures: Getty / HaytersTV)

Wout Weghorst is convinced he can find his shooting boots in a Manchester United shirt after being withdrawn at half-time of Thursday’s Europa League win over Barcelona.

The Dutch forward – who has now only netted once in 11 matches for the Red Devils – once again lined up in a number 10 role and was tasked with disrupting Barca’s midfielders.

However, a flat United side fell behind at Old Trafford inside the first 20 minutes to a Robert Lewandowski penalty and Weghorst was withdrawn at the break.

Bruno Fernandes moved into a central role while Weghorst’s replacement, Antony, was a constant menace down the right flank, with the Brazilian and compatriot Fred both netting in a come-from-behind 2-1 (4-3 on aggregate) victory.

Although Weghorst has worked tirelessly off the ball, his lack of goal threat is starting to become a burden – though he still believes he can play a big role in the remainder of the season.

Speaking after the win over Barca, he told reporters: ‘Of course I have played in some different positions, it’s also new to me.

‘What I can bring to the team? I hope lots of energy, I hope the belief. Of course I am someone who is giving a lot of effort against the ball also, try to get high pressure on the opponent, get the guys around me free.

Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst

Weghorst has struggled for goals since joining United (Picture: Getty)

‘Of course, get myself also free and scoring goals so that’s definitely a point we need to improve, because I know I’m capable of bringing that also to the team.

‘That’s something that so far hasn’t worked as we wanted, as we planned, but overall I’m just somebody who is giving his all to the team with a lot of energy and trying to win all these trophies we’re still capable of.

Asked why Ten Hag made the half-time switch, Weghorst continued: ‘Of course we were not satisfied, he was not satisfied. It was not the way we wanted to play. We didn’t do the things that we wanted.

‘[Ten Hag wanted] more energy, more belief, more fight – fighting our way back into the match and creating good momentum, good atmosphere, good feeling.

‘And I think second half, Antony came in, great of course. I think also the match-up that was needed. We knew they were vulnerable in the back, the runs in behind, that was something we couldn’t do like we wanted in the first half.

‘So unfortunate for me today, but I think the second half was a great one for us and a really good result.’

MORE : Robin van Persie cheekily claims there is one team Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag doesn’t want in last 16

MORE : Who can Manchester United and Arsenal face in the Europa League last 16 and when is the draw?

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