Ten Hag could repeat his Weghorst howler as MUFC eye move for “brilliant” 6ft 2 talent

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Erik ten Hag is looking to bolster his goalkeeping staff this summer, and despite having just completed a deal for Andre Onana last week, Manchester United is apparently still considering a move for Feyenoord stopper Justin Bijlow.

What’s new with Bijlow going to Manchester United?

According to the Dutch publication 1908.nl, the Red Devils are’still researching the market’ in their quest to locate a backup alternative to their £47.2 million acquisition, Onana. Bijlow is a player who has reportedly been on United’s radar after being linked with a move earlier in the transfer window.

The Eredivisie team is reportedly aiming to keep the 25-year-old, who is estimated to be worth approximately £20m, on their roster for the 2023–24 season, with a fresh contract offer reportedly in the works.

The need for a new backup custodian arises in the midst of serious uncertainty surrounding several of the keepers currently employed at Old Trafford. Dean Henderson and Nathan Bishop have both been heavily linked with moves to Nottingham Forest and Sunderland, respectively, while Tom Heaton has also drawn interest from newly promoted team Luton Town.

Justin Bijlow, who is he?

With such prospective exits in the works, it might be game over for United in the goalkeeping ranks. After 12 years in Manchester, the Premier League’s biggest clubs already permitted the long-serving Spaniard, David De Gea, to leave.

Even though the 6 foot 2 ace has previously been praised as “brilliant” by ESPN’s Cecilia Lagos, it is unclear if Bijlow is the best choice. Fresh faces do appear to be needed to help cover for Onana.

During his tenure at the Theatre of Dreams, Ten Hag’s willingness to seek to the Dutch market for fresh hires has not generally been effective, with Lisandro Martinez — who teammate Luke Shaw has labelled a “absolute monster” — possibly the most successful Eredivisie newcomer.

After only scoring four league goals the previous season, Martinez’s Ajax teammate Antony has struggled to make an impact in England. Rotterdam native Tyrell Malacia, who played with Bijlow at Feyenoord, has been a useful but unspectacular squad option.

Wout Weghorst, a 30-year-old striker who joined United on loan from Burnley in January to assist provide more depth to the forward line, appeared to hurt United during this period of inconsistent fortunes.

The 6 foot 6 striker was once quite productive in his early career, scoring 45 goals in just 86 games for AZ Alkmaar, but was unable to duplicate that success in the Premier League, scoring just one goal in the top flight in the second half of last season.

The former Wolfsburg player, who was deemed “not good enough” to play for the club or his country by famous compatriot Ruud Gullit, clearly did not have the desired effect with just two goals to his name in total in 31 games across all competitions.

Consequently, there will be concern that United may make the same transfer mistake again by signing Bijlow, a Dutch international who has also faced criticism for his performances for Oranje. As pundit Willem van Hanegem recently stated:

“I simply believed he was a terrible custodian for the Dutch national team. He made mistakes, so there. You must be sincere. He is not good if he cannot maintain the goal.

That critical evaluation ought to set off alarm bells at Old Trafford, where the Red Devils cannot afford to make another Weghorst error.

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