Wout Weghorst scored goals for fun during his time at Wolfsburg, and now the Dutchman is back in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim on loan from Burnley after spells at Besiktas and Manchester United.
bundesliga.com shines the spotlight on the Dutchman returning to Germany on a season-long loan…
Stats correct as of 9 August 2023
Age: 31 (born 7 August 1992)
Club: Hoffenheim (on loan from Burnley)
Country: Netherlands (23 caps/ five goals)
Weghorst began his career in the Dutch second division with Emmen, where a return of 21 goals in 65 games earned him a move to Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo in 2014. After netting another 20 goals in two seasons with Heracles – helping them qualify for Europe for the first time in their history – he enjoyed a successful two-year stint with AZ Alkmaar. Having notched 31 goals and 10 assists in 60 top-flight outings for 'The Cheeseheads', and won his first caps for the Netherlands national team, he was soon on his way to the Bundesliga when Wolfsburg swooped in summer 2018.
The arrival of the serial goal-getter proved a coup for the Wolves. A hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf in March 2019 was the first of his senior career and the first by a Wolfsburg player since Mario Gomez in April 2017. Another three goals on the final day of 2018/19 against Augsburg took VfL – who’d only survived relegation via the play-off the previous year – into Europe and him onto 17 goals for the campaign.
Watch: Weghorst had a hand in all five goals as Wolfsburg thrashed Düsseldorf
The big Dutchman got a further 16 from 32 Bundesliga games the following season. He topped that in 2020/21 with a career-best 20 from 34 league outings. Six more before his January 2022 departure to Burnley took his Bundesliga total to 59 in 118 appearances – only Robert Lewandowski scored more Bundesliga goals during Weghorst’s three-and-a-half seasons in the German top flight.
Two goals in 20 English Premier League outings for the Clarets preceded a loan spell to Turkey with Besiktas, where he netted nine times in 18 competitive appearances before Manchester United brought in the Dutchman for a six-month loan. Weghorst helped the Red Devils to EFL Cup glory and an FA Cup runners-up medal, scoring two goals from 31 games in all competitions for Erik ten Hag’s men. The striker has been a regular for the Netherlands since 2021, featuring at UEFA Euro 2020, the 2022 FIFA World Cup – where he scored twice in a shootout defeat to eventual champions Argentina in the quarter-finals – and in the 2023 UEFA Nations League finals.
Watch: The best of Weghorst in the Bundesliga
Plays a bit like: Edin Dzeko
At a shade under 6'6", the towering Weghorst has long been compared with former Wolves striker Bas Dost (also 6'6"), who followed a similar career path via Emmen and Heracles. But rather than being an out-an-out goal poacher like his fellow Dutchman, Weghorst probably has more in common with another past hero of the Volkswagen Arena, 2008/09 Bundesliga winner Dzeko.
Like the Bosnian striker, Weghorst is happy to get stuck into challenges, hold up play and – when necessary – pass to teammates in better scoring positions. The hulking striker won over half of his challenges in his first Bundesliga season and also demonstrated his incredible work rate, ranking third for sprints in the 2019/20 campaign, even if he isn't the quickest of frontmen. Though not as two-footed as Dzeko, Weghorst scored with 59 of his 276 shots on goal in the Bundesliga and also provided 22 assists in his 144 Wolfsburg appearances.
Did you know?
Weghorst's rise to the top does not quite fit into the 'rags-to-riches' narrative of many footballers – his family run 130 gas stations in the north-east of the Netherlands. And if things hadn't worked out in football, the Borne native might have had a different sporting destiny – he once beat three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen in a leg of darts, hitting two 140s along the way. Luckily for the Wolves – and Mighty Mike – he has trained his killer eye to find the back of the net rather than the bullseye…
What they're saying
“Why does he start every game? Because he is capable. He is physically capable to play a lot of games. He is a very fit player, and he recovers very well. I think he has intelligence from positions, he is a very good anticipator. He is often in the right position. He keeps focused, he keeps working and he keeps putting himself in the right positions.” – Weghorst’s manager at Manchester United, Erik ten Hag
“We decided on a specific profile in our search for a striker and have been working calmly, meticulously and with the necessary emphasis on various levels for several weeks now, not on the fastest solution, but on the best possible solution. We believe we have found this in Wout and expect his mentality, experience and accuracy to be a boost for the entire team. The talks with him have impressed me and we can look forward to a strong-minded character with a big heart in the TSG jersey.” – Hoffenheim managing director Alexander Rosen on signing Weghorst
“He’s the most dangerous player in front of goal that I’ve ever coached – at least as head coach.” – Former Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner
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