What Wout Weghorst loan could tell us about Man United’s striker transfer plans

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag clearly wants a big man up front after bringing in Wout Weghorst on loan during the January transfer window.


The England international had a good first season with Roma last term, but his second year at the club is proving a lot more challenging, and Collymore isn’t convinced he’s good enough to be coming back to play for the big clubs in the Premier League.


Abraham had a spell at Chelsea as a youngster and showed some promise, but ultimately ended up falling down the pecking order before leaving for Roma in the summer of 2021.


The 25-year-old has 34 goals in 86 appearances for the Serie A giants, but just seven in 33 games in all competitions so far this season.



Collymore thinks that the links with big clubs just shows the lack of world class number 9s in world football right now, though it does perhaps point towards United looking for that calibre of player – a tall, physical presence to hold the ball up.


“I don’t see him as someone good enough to score 20 goals a season in the Premier League. But you look at Erik ten Hag bringing in Wout Weghorst and it’s clear he wants a physical presence as his number 9,” Collymore said.


“Still, there’s such a dearth of great number 9s at the moment. There’s obviously Erling Haaland, who’s exceptional, and there’s Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski who are either at their peak or passing it.


“There just aren’t that many specialist number 9s, and that’s because for the last 15 years we’ve had converted wingers like Mane and Salah who take on that job and who have great scoring numbers, so why’s there a need to develop number 9s?

Collymore’s column: Liverpool and Man Utd mustn’t get carried away by crazy 7-0 score-line & Tammy Abraham transfer interest points to major issue

“Even someone like Chris Wood, playing for Nottingham Forest yesterday, barely held the ball up as you’d expect a traditional number 9 to do. He barely won a flick-on, a centre-forward’s modus operandi. You’d barely know that Forest had signed Chris Wood as a big number 9, because he doesn’t do anything that a number 9 does.


“Abraham falls into that category – he’s big and he’s strong, but his season at Roma probably doesn’t warrant a move to one of the world’s biggest clubs. I can see why there’d be interest and he could be someone who’d improve, but when players like Weghorst and Abraham are being actively pursued or sought after by a club like Manchester United, you wonder what’s gone wrong with the centre-forward’s conveyer belt around Europe.”

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