Why Wout Weghorst would be a real coup for Crystal Palace in January
The 27-year-old, who racked up 17 goals and 7 assists in 34 appearances in the previous campaign to propel Wolfsburg to a 6th-place finish in the Bundesliga, has once again hit the ground running in the German top-flight, and currently boasts of a tally of 8 goals and 3 assists in 16 appearances across all competitions.
Having started his footballing education at Willem II, Weghorst shot to prominence with FC Emmen in the Dutch second-tier before Eredivisie outfit Heracles Almelo came calling for his services in 2014.
Impressive returns of 24 goals in 73 appearances over the course of two seasons at Heracles Almelo earned him a move to AZ Alkmaar in 2016, and Weghorst enhanced his burgeoning reputation as a talented young striker in the Eredivisie with a tally of 18 goals in all competitions in his debut season.
Goals continued to flow for the towering Dutchman in his homeland and a career-best tally of 27 goals at Alkmaar in the following campaign prompted Wolfsburg to bring him to the Bundesliga in the summer of 2018.
The 3-cap Dutch international proved to be an instant hit in his new surroundings and was one of the cornerstones of the club’s successful campaign the last term.
Crystal Palace have managed 4 victories and 3 draws from their first 12 Premier League fixtures and while the stage certainly looks set for them to push on for greater heights in the coming months, the misfiring attacking cavalry at the club could once again pour cold water on their hopes of securing a top-half finish.
Jordan Ayew, who joined on a permanent transfer from Swansea City this summer following a loan spell at Selhurst Park last season, is currently the top-scorer with three goals, while Christian Benteke has found the net just twice since April 2018.
However, the fact that should concern Roy Hodgson the most in the failure of Wilfried Zaha to make an impact this season, with the Ivorian talisman yet to score a single goal so far in the Premier League.
It is worth arguing that Palace have relied way too heavily on him to deliver the goods in recent years but his dip in form this term could have far-reaching consequences for the Eagles if he doesn’t manage to hit the ground running soon enough.
Having scored just 10 goals in 11 games so far, it is a no-brainer that Crystal Palace need to sign a new striker in January to improve on their lacklustre goal returns in the Premier League, which has become a norm rather than an anomaly over the past few years.
To that end, bringing in an in-form striker like Wout Weghorst could go a long way towards solving Palace’s goalscoring crisis, with the Dutchman very much a proven goalscorer in the Bundesliga and a player in the right age bracket at 27.
Standing at 6ft 6in with a towering frame, Weghorst is not only a giant in the air with his incredible aerial ability (3.6 aerial duels per game this season), but he is also adept at holding the ball up and linking up with his teammates using short exchanges (1.8 key passes per game) in and around the box, as cited by whoscored.
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Furthermore, the fact that 13 of his 17 league goals came from inside the box is clearly indicative of his undisputed pedigree inside the penalty area, and a bonafide goal poacher is something that Palace have been crying out for a long time.
With that in mind, Hodgson completing a swoop for Wout Weghorst could pay off handsomely, as the Dutchman apparently has the physicality and the raw attributes to make a big impact on the Premier League.