Scout Reports

What can FPL managers expect from £6.5m forward Wout Weghorst?

There has been only one new addition to the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) forward pool after the closure of the January transfer window – and that man is Burnley’s new signing, Wout Weghorst (£6.5m).

Having sold Chris Wood (£6.7m) to Newcastle United earlier in the month, the Clarets have bolstered their striking options with the capture of the Netherlands international from VfL Wolfsburg for a fee of around £12m.

Armed with an eye-catching goalscoring record, a made-for-Burnley build (he’s 6’6″), and as-yet-unannounced Double Gameweeks aplenty, Weghorst has received more attention from FPL managers than you’d usually expect for a Sean Dyche acquisition.

We’ll look over the 29-year-old Dutch hitman in this Scout Report to get a better picture of what the Fantasy community can expect.

THE HISTORY AND STATS

SeasonTeamAppsMinsGoalsAssists
2021/2022Wolfsburg17(1)155261
2020/2021Wolfsburg33(1)2950208
2019/2020Wolfsburg30(2)2741163
2018/2019Wolfsburg33(1)2931177
2017/2018AZ Alkmaar312762186
2016/2017AZ Alkmaar27(6)2419173
2015/2016Heracles36(1)315214
2014/2015Heracles27(4)243185

Above: Wout Weghorst’s league appearances and attacking returns from 2014/15 onwards (via WhoScored)

Starting his senior career with Emmen in his homeland, Weghorst hit 20 goals in 62 appearances in the second tier of Dutch football before moving onto Heracles in July 2014.

That modest goalscoring record is put into some perspective when it’s made clear that 36 of those run-outs were off the bench and it was Weghorst’s minutes-per-goal ratio, coupled with the ability to score ‘meaningful’ strikes, that led to Heracles snapping him up.

“The model identified his ability to be in the right place at the right time, illustrated by his points-per-goal ratio being unusually high despite his lack of playing time. He was scoring important goals to put his side in the lead or equalise.” – Andy Jones in The Athletic on why Weghorst came to the attention of Heracles’ data providers, SciSports

Weghorst went on to net 51 times in 124 league games for Heracles and then AZ Alkmaar, who he joined in summer 2016.

Naturally, Eredivisie goalscoring figures have to be taken with a pinch of salt; for every Luis Suarez, we’ve had five Jozy Altidore types who have flattered to deceive in the Premier League.

But the towering centre-forward furthered his reputation when stepping up a class to the Bundesliga, plundering 59 goals in 118 league appearances for Wolfsburg over the past three and a half seasons.

The Dutchman hit the 20-goal mark in the German top flight in 2020/21 and has also contributed 19 assists since signing for Wolfsburg in 2018.

A bit like Wood, who has toiled in 2021/22 after hitting 10+ goals in each of his past four campaigns, Weghorst’s form has tailed off a bit this season: four of his seven attacking returns arrived by Matchday 5 of the Bundesliga. He also failed to score in any of Wolfsburg’s Champions League group games, although it should be said that the German side as a collective are struggling, hovering just above the drop zone at the time of writing after finishing fourth in 2020/21. No side in the Bundesliga has scored fewer goals this season.

The giant targetman has scored twice in 12 appearances for the Netherlands national side and Fantasy managers playing the Euro 2020 game last summer would have briefly crossed paths with him, as he was a semi-popular option at the beginning of the tournament.

WHY HAS HE ENDED UP AT BURNLEY?

No offence meant to Burnley or their fans but how has one of Germany’s most prolific strikers ended up swapping Lower Saxony for Lancashire?

Why he left Wolfsburg is probably the most straightforward part, with ‘deserting a sinking ship’ coming to mind given that the Bundesliga outfit are battling against relegation and labouring under head coach Florian Kohfeldt. Weghorst was in the final 18 months of his contract and had also previously gone on record to say that he had always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, meanwhile, so now he finally gets his opportunity to impress.

As for how he ended up at Turf Moor, perhaps his relative lack of goals (it’s still far from being a drought) this season and age has put off a few suitors but it’s another, more topical issue that has apparently played a big part.

German newspaper Bild reported that Weghorst’s Covid vaccination status had a key say in his exit and destination, with Burnley one of the few clubs in the UK undeterred by it.

PLAYING STYLE: WHAT KIND OF FORWARD IS WEGHORST?

Wood 2.0 or something a bit different?

Weghorst’s physical attributes will immediately invite lazy comparisons with his Kiwi predecessor and there’s no doubting that his height and build will have been a major selling point for Burnley.

A pound-shop Harry Kane (£12.3m) might be a more suitable analogy, however, at least according to Bundesliga reporter Stefan Bienkowski.

“There’s little doubt that Weghorst is a traditional target man who can happily play with his back to goal if called upon, but he can also play as a very effective No. 9 too.”

“His sheer physicality should help a lot in the Premier League. He’s also got an excellent eye for goal and is rarely wasteful in front of goal. I know Burnley aren’t the most attack-minded team in the league but he should score goals for them.”

“It wasn’t so long ago that he was being linked with a move to Tottenham as a potential replacement to Harry Kane. And while I’m not sure he’s as good as the England striker, they are similar types of players.

“Or at least Weghorst is like the younger Kane, when he was still a No. 9. There are definitely are similarities to Wood but I think Weghorst is probably a much better player and a more natural goalscorer. Burnley would have probably signed a really ideal replacement.” – Stefan Bienkowski, speaking to Lancashire Live

A forward described as “playing with his back to goal” is usually a bit of a warning sign to Fantasy managers but an ability to couple that deeper link-up play with more predatory penalty box instincts, as Kane has done time and time again, ought to provide two different routes to FPL points.

“It seems like a pretty big upgrade on Chris Wood to me. He has the size and is very good in the air but he’s an all-round footballer as well. He can drop off and play in between the lines and he’s an excellent finisher.

“People see his height and presume he’s someone who flicks it on, wins the ball in the air and who you throw balls into the box for, but he’s better than that.

“He presses the ball really well – which is what everyone in the Bundesliga needs to do – and it feels like an excellent fit.” – Bundesliga journalist Matt Pearson, speaking to the i newspaper

His aggression, outspokenness and intelligent pressing from the front have earned him loose comparisons with Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) in terms of attitude and mentality, meanwhile, even if those attributes are not as relevant to us FPL bosses.

“Holland’s taller, chunkier answer to Jamie Vardy — minus the bit with the electronic tag and the Skittles-flavoured vodka — still plays like he’s got a point to prove in every match. He flies into tackles, wins more headers than almost anyone and frequently tops his team’s charts for most distance covered.” – German football expert Rafael Honigstein, writing in the Athletic in June 2020

WEGHORST’S UNDERLYING STATS

Of encouragement to Weghorst’s potential buyers in FPL are his shot statistics.

All 59 of his Bundesliga goals (and 90% of his attempts) came from within the opposition area, with 12 of them being despatched from inside the six-yard box.

The Athletic’s shot map graphics above show Weghorst’s love of a close-range effort, something that Wood also had a fondness for while at Burnley:

SeasonChris Wood’s shots in the six-yard box: rank v other Premier League players
2021/222nd
2020/21=12th
2019/201st
2018/191st

Eleven of Weghorst’s goals at Wolfsburg came from the penalty spot, so with Wood now gone and Ashley Barnes (£5.2m) far from assured of game-time even when fit, it could be that the new Burnley striker is also on spot-kick duties at his new club – although he has missed 10 of his 27 career penalties!

A further 11 of the Dutch forward’s 59 Bundesliga goals came via his head, a Dyche-approved method of finding the back of the net.

SeasonTeamMinsShots per 90 minsChances created per 90 minsxG per 90 minsxA per 90 minsShot-to-goal conversion ratexG delta
2021/2022Wolfsburg15532.200.920.510.1015.8%-2.9
2020/2021Wolfsburg29412.821.250.550.1521.7%+2.1
2019/2020Wolfsburg27392.691.220.500.0819.5%+0.9
2018/2019Wolfsburg29251.851.020.400.1628.3%+3.8

Above stats for Weghorst taken from fbref (xG = expected goals, xA = expected assists)


Apart from his current below-par campaign, Weghorst has performed well in terms of shot-to-goal conversion (anything around the 20% mark is commendable) and xG overachievement.

Wood’s own conversion stats were quite similar at Burnley during his four 10+ goal campaigns, although his replacement has the edge on the xG front. Both strikers, as previously mentioned, have been below par this season.

Above: Premier League forwards sorted by xG per 90 minutes in 2021/22. Image taken from the Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area.

If he was to reproduce a figure of about 0.50 xG per game, Weghorst would be up there with the leading FPL forwards (even allowing for the minor differences in expected goals models) – the big question now is if Burnley can supply him with enough service.

WHERE WEGHORST FITS IN AT BURNLEY

This should be an easy one.

Weghorst’s arrival is bad news for Matej Vydra, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez (all £5.2m), with a strike partnership of the Dutchman and Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m) likely to be Dyche’s preferred option up top.

Barnes is still recovering from a thigh problem anyway, while Vydra may need hernia surgery.

Cornet did start the season playing out wide in the Clarets’ 4-4-2 but concerns over his capacity to carry out the defensive side of the game led to Dyche redeploying the Ivorian in a second striker role.

WILL BURNLEY CREATE ENOUGH CHANCES FOR HIM?

Nine returns in seven gameweeks for Wood after hat-trick at Wolves

Like Wolfsburg, Burnley have struggled for goals this season.

Only Norwich City have scored on fewer occasions (16) than the Clarets, who also rank 18th for minutes per chance and minutes per expected goal (xG).

Dyche’s side are, however, fourth for minutes per cross, which should play to Weghorst’s aerial strengths.

Looking at Wood’s underlying stats over the last four campaigns, he didn’t quite enjoy the service that Weghorst did in Germany, with the New Zealander’s shots and xG per 90 minutes generally down on those of his replacement.

SeasonShots per 90 minsxG per 90 mins
2021/20222.040.27
2020/20212.220.42
2019/20202.290.56
2018/20191.970.29

IS WEGHORST WORTH BUYING IN FPL?

 

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135 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Hopefully Antonio gets rested tonight seeing as they are completely out with the washing and can’t qualify

    1. Weak Become Heros
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Yep. Should get a rest in FA cup at the weekend too.

  2. The FPL Units
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 14 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Tempted to pull the WC button this week. Have all other chips as well.

    DDG Foster
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Digne Ait-Nouri
    Salah KdB Bowen Cout Cornet
    Broja Edourd ??*

    * Have 6.2 to spend on a striker, any suggestions?

    1. Ron_Swanson
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Cout to Raph then add Weghorst

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Raph flagged with ankle knock

  3. KanuLenoMeeMoCash
    • 3 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Is the Liverpool double confirmed for GW26? Thought I heard that on Blackbox but had it on the background and may have been distracted...confirmed or just possible anyone know?

    1. maglia rosa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Andy from Lets Talk fpl asks under the original retweet when it will be officially announced and he replied this week so clearly nothing official yet.

      1. KanuLenoMeeMoCash
        • 3 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        Thanks 🙂

  4. bso
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Need ONE of these to start: Dennis, Sanchez (TOT), Diop, Bilva?
    Cheers guys!

  5. have you seen cyan
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Another load of teams has been hacked and apparently renamed fantasy football scout data breach

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Is this true?

    2. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Yep saw this. We're not aware of any breaches at all, just the same hacker that's been targeting teams over recent months has started using a new name for the teams they hack. Of course we're always monitoring the situation though, can never be too safe.

      Seems to be a very limited number of teams be impacted so far, and no significant change from previous weeks, but from the ones I have seen the majority have never (emphasis on never) used Fantasy Football Scout, so we couldn't possibly have their data.

      Equally, worth keeping in mind we don't ask for any FPL passwords or anything like that, but again make sure your passwords are unique on every site you use. Just a good habit to get into.

      https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/comment/24658027

      Again to reiterate, no evidence of a breach but we'll keep a careful eye on the situation of course. Just someone trying to ruin other peoples teams and who wants as much attention as possible.

      1. have you seen cyan
        • 4 Years
        2 years, 4 months ago

        I did ask some of the hacked on Reddit and they didn’t have accounts here.

  6. AD105
    • 7 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    How’s the WC looking? 1.0 ITB for Salah

    De Gea Foster
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Digne Ait Nouri
    KDB Bruno Bowen Cornet Ramsey
    Watkins Edouard Broja

    1. FourLokoLeipzig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Nice. Tough choice between KDB and Salah on a WC this week. I prefer Gallagher and Weghorst over Cornet and Edouard, but again, it’s a close call. Could be a great WC as far as I can see

  7. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    Assuming Raphinha is fit best option to bring in for week 24

    A Raphinha
    B Coutinho

    1. Ruth_NZ
      • 9 Years
      2 years, 4 months ago

      Coutinho probably.

  8. DALEDOBACK
    • 4 Years
    2 years, 4 months ago

    I have all four, overkill?