Euro 2024: Weghorst ‘upset’ at Netherlands sub role post-goal

HAMBURG, Germany — Ronald Koeman said Wout Weghorst is “upset” at being told he is likely to start games on the for bench for the Netherlands at Euro 2024 after the former Manchester United forward scored a late winner in a 2-1 win against Poland just minutes after entering the game as a substitute.

Weghorst, 31, replaced Memphis Depay in the 82nd minute of the Group D fixture in Hamburg and scored moments later by converting a Nathan Aké pass from close range.

The Dutch had missed several clear chances against the Poles, whose first half opener by Adam Buksa was cancelled out by Cody Gakpo, before Koeman turned to Weghorst.

After the striker netted his seventh goal in 11 internationals to send his team to victory, Koeman said that he has had to tell Weghorst why he believes he has more impact in games from the bench.

“When I spoke to Wout in the beginning to come in with the national team, I tried to explain to every individual player the possibilities for starting or coming on the pitch in the second half when we need a different play,” Koeman said.

“He was a little bit upset and I think that is a good reaction. Wout is upset and doing a lot to get the opportunity to start. That is a great mentality from the player and always the last decision by the coach.

“His goal was cheered by the crowd that is obvious because he found the net which was decisive at this time. He has value to the team, he has a different way of behaving which is great and what we needed.

“It should have been 4-1 to us after an hour but we were not able to find the net. It was dangerous for us because the Polish squad was almost able to find the net but we were lucky and scored the second goal.”

Weghorst, who now plays in Germany for Hoffenheim, has developed a habit for scoring important goals as a substitute for the Dutch.

Koeman said that the 6ft 4″ striker is good for the Netherlands because he brings “English qualities” to the team.

“I think every team needs Dutch qualities and also English qualities,” Koeman said.

“That makes the team stronger and of course he can start because he started in other games.

“He started really well and that is an option. We will see what the best is for the team and not the best for the player.

“He is aggressive and Memphis is the forward who plays often and has a lot of ball possession. We were not able to run a lot in the first half, but Wout is aggressive and he always takes initiative and is a good header as well.

“He has one chance and finds the net.”