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How Wout Weghorst tried to get under Virgil van Dijk’s skin at Anfield

How Wout Weghorst tried to get under Virgil van Dijk’s skin at Anfield

Manchester United’s 7-0 thrashing to Liverpool was something not many could’ve predicted. It is still sticking like bitter fruit in the mouths of the United supporters – who can’t stop looking for places to hide their shame.

The Red Devils’ battering at Anfield made them match an unfortunate record of their biggest loss in a competitive game since 1930. In the game, almost every single player on the pitch let down the club. Some were even worse than others and have started to cause a major stir among the United fans.

Bruno Fernandes has received a lot of criticism for ‘letting his team down’ in the game and failing to act like an ideal captain for his side. As a matter of fact, he was even accused of demanding to be substituted amidst the capitulation – something was quickly put to bed.

With that being, another United player has come under heavy fire for his antics at Anfield. That was their on-loan forward Wout Weghorst – who has yet to really make a major goal-scoring impact for the Red Devils since arriving from Burnley in January.

Why is Weghorst under fire after Liverpool loss?

Weghorst has only scored one goal so far and has been ‘modified’ to play as a makeshift no.10 in some major games for United. He did just that at Anfield, playing behind Marcus Rashford in an attempt to bully the Liverpool players with his quick pressing as well as his smart link-up style.

In the end, yet, the Dutch forward was not able to make any impact and ended up failing to impress in the no.10 role. He was substituted quickly in the second half and left many frustrated with his ineffective outing.

But one thing about Weghorst has infuriated the fans and it’s not something he even did during the game. In fact, it is something that the Dutch forward did before the game even started  – just as the two sets of players were making out of the tunnel.

Just as he came out of the tunnel, Weghorst touched the ‘This is Anfield’ sign that is stuck right as the players make their way onto the ground. This is traditionally done by Liverpool players or those who really love the club, because of the sign being a part of the club’s legacy.

Jurgen Klopp has put an end to these ‘newer’ players touching the sign before they win any major trophies with Liverpool. But it doesn’t look like Weghorst received his memo – as he was the only United player to touch the sign – sparking the fury of a few United fans.

Weghorst’s past interview about Liverpool

Amid all this, an older interview from him has also been unearthed. In that interview, he claims to be a Liverpool fan – which has infuriated the fans even more. He told De Telegraaf in 2018: “I’ve dreamt of [playing for Liverpool] since childhood.

“If I continue to train with full commitment, I think that opportunity will come. Of course, something like that depends on several factors. You have to stay fit and a coach and club must see it in you, but apart from that you can create many things in life for yourself.”

Going by these comments, it becomes relatively clear that Weghorst is a Liverpool fan from his childhood – something which has even further infuriated some United supporters.

Weghorst clarifies the incident

However, the 30-year-old striker has clarified his own side of the story behind controversially touching the sign like a Liverpool fanboy. He posted a story on that on his Instagram, writing: “Normally, I never react on media topics, but this one it’s worth it because you amazing @manchesterunited fans are important to me.

“So I just want to clarify the video that is doing the rounds. From the (Dutch) national team I know that Virgil (Van Dik) always touches that sign and the only intention I had was to stop him touching it and wind him up before the game.

“As a child, I always supported FC Twente and as a proud player now for Manchester United, my dedication to this important club can never be questioned. Sunday was a terrible day for all of us, we are putting everything into making it right in the next weeks. We will bounce back together and achieve our aims this season!”

As a result, Weghorst has dismissed all claims that he is a Liverpool fan playing for United and that he touched the sign as a fanboy. The 30-year-old still has a lot to prove to silence his doubters at United, but his reaction to this controversy shows that he isn’t afraid of shutting down false claims against him.