Wout Weghorst has proved a revelation for Wolfsburg since joining Wolfsburg from AZ Alkmaar in 2018. The Dutch striker has averaged almost a goal every other game in his 44 Bundesliga appearances for the Wolves and is starting to gain the respect he felt was missing back in the Netherlands.
Talking to bundesliga.com, Weghorst talks about the overdue respect he has now earned in Germany, Wolfsburg's unbeaten start to the season under coach Oliver Glasner and a childhood Ajax hero…
bundesliga.com: You scored 51 goals in 124 Dutch Eredivisie games for Alkmaar and Heracles, which is an excellent return, but would you say you have only really made a name for yourself with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga?
Wout Weghorst: “Of course, I am really ambitious, but I feel really good here, it feels like home, my family feels really good and there’s a lot of respect here. In Holland, it was not always that easy and there was always some doubting and always talking. In Germany, there is a lot of respect and a lot of respect for the way I am, and I love that, so for me it’s ok, I’m feeling really great in Germany and in Wolfsburg and as I said, I’m ambitious, I want to achieve the maximum and whatever that is going to be.”
Watch: The Weghorst tactical anaylsis
bundesliga.com: What then is your biggest strength in football?
Weghorst: “I think I have a strong mentality, strong character. I always work really hard for the things I want to achieve. In every single training or match, I try to give 100 per cent. I think that’s a great thing I have.”
bundesliga.com: Wolfsburg are enjoying a brilliant start to the season and are the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga, so what makes the team so good right now?
Weghorst: “To be honest, I think it’s our mentality, I think we’re really strong as a team, we really act as a team and as you said you need your teammates to score goals. But I think we have a clear mind as to how we want to play this season, it was last season so and this year we changed a little bit with the new trainer, this year it’s more direct to the goals we have as a team, also the way we want to achieve those goals. That turns out really good, there’s a good atmosphere and that’s our big strength, I think.”
bundesliga.com: How has it been working with the new head coach, Oliver Glasner?
Weghorst: “He’s crazy about football. He loves football. I think he’s thinking about it 24 hours a day and I really like it. Also the way directly from the beginning we talked about football and how we want to play as a team. It turned out really well and you see the results and they’re really great. Of course, we do it all together and the trainer is responsible for when it’s not going good, but when it’s going well, it’s honest to give him some compliments. I think we’re working really nice together with the whole team and trainer staff and also personally the confidence I got from the beginning is important for any person.”
bundesliga.com: Did you have any role models on your journey to becoming a professional footballer?
Weghorst: “When I was becoming a professional footballer, I was looking at strikers comparable to me and with the same skills or attitude, so of course you try to learn something, to pick something out of it, but real idols or someone I was a big fan of at a young age, I never really had that. I actually liked the Finnish footballer [Jari] Litmanen, from Ajax, when I was like seven or eight years old, he was the only one I had posters of in my room.”
Watch: All 17 of Weghorst's goals in 2018/19
bundesliga.com: Litmanen enjoyed great success at home and in Europe with Ajax during the 1990s. Wolfsburg are fighting at the top of the Bundesliga and playing in the UEFA Europa League, so what’s possible for you this season?
Weghorst: “I think it shows we are on a really good way and the way we want to go is positive, and it turns out we can be successful if we play the way we are playing now. It’s still just seven games, there are a lot of games to go. The season is long, but as I said, if we show what we want to and have to show, then we can be very successful, like we are now.”