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The endearing improbability of Wout Weghorst takes latest twist

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independent.co.uk

Wout Weghorst has become the man who keeps distinguished company. There were three of them at the end, applauding the Manchester United fans: the de facto captain Bruno Fernandes, the World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez and Weghorst, his long frame in the coat of a man who had been substituted.

He was joined on the scoresheet by Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, the form player in the Premier League. A month ago, he had been the Dutch answer to Lionel Messi, cancelling out the two-goal lead he had earned Argentina in a World Cup quarter-final, matching him by scoring a penalty in the subsequent shootout.And in between, his previous goal had come with a motley crew of Premier League rejects, in a team with Arthur Masuaku, Cenk Tosun and Gedson Fernandes, with Dele Alli an unused substitute.

For some, Weghorst had been out of sight and out of mind when on loan at Besiktas. Not for Erik ten Hag, however. The first striker he signed for United was borrowed from a Championship club, in Burnley.

The first goal he scored for them came in a cup semi-final and was greeted with clenched fists. “I just turned to the goal hoping for a rebound and it came exactly like this,” Weghorst reflected. “It was nice.”The improbable element was not being in position to finish, converting the rebound after Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy parried Antony’s shot.

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