Koeman in crisis! Netherlands boss told Man Utd flop can save him

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 19 Jun 2023 10:50 BST
  • 3 min read
Ronald Koeman, Wout Weghorst
© ProShots

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has been told that he needs to start Manchester United flop Wout Weghorst in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers after a wretched start to his time in charge of Oranje.

Weghorst proved a figure of fun at Man Utd, where he failed to score a Premier League goal during his six-month loan stint from Burnley in 2022/23, but Koeman has been told that the forward could be just the player he needs to transform both his and his country’s fortunes.

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The hitman was overlooked for the starting XI in Sunday’s 3-2 Nations League defeat by Italy – the third in Koeman’s four games in charge – but come off the bench to make a big impact.

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According to Willem van Hanegem, a finalist at the 1974 World Cup, the Dutch national team needs his qualities and, therefore, he deserves a starting place in the matches against Greece and Ireland, which will be played on September 7 and 10 respectively.

"Oranje must win against the Greeks and the Irish in September and so you cannot ignore Wout Weghorst. Because he brings what he has to bring. As long as he knows what his role is," writes Van Hanegem in Algemeen Dagblad .

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Pundit Maarten Wijffels also saw that Weghorst played an important role in the third-fourth place playoff.

"Against Italy, the Netherlands eventually returned to an all-or-nothing mode after the break. Koeman played one-on-one, brought substitute Wout Weghorst into the team to create a war up front.

"That also indicates the state of this Dutch national team: against Croatia and Italy, it was only with opportunism that it was possible to develop real pressure, which was also the case against Argentina at the World Cup," the editor of the newspaper concludes.

Weghorst failed to score a Premier League goal for Man Utd
© ProShots - Weghorst failed to score a Premier League goal for Man Utd

Van Dijk warns Netherlands

Captain Virgil van Dijk sounded the alarm after the lost game against Italy.

"If we play like in the first half against the Italians, we can forget about the European Championship," said Van Dijk. "What needs to be improved? The whole package."

Netherlands are third in Euro 2024 qualifying Group B, having lost heavily to France but having beaten Gibraltar.

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