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Wout Weghorst reveals Erik ten Hag's fun tactical instruction for Barcelona midfield role

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Manchester United’s Wout Weghorst has revealed he was asked to ‘be annoying’ by Erik ten Hag as he lined up in an unfamiliar midfield role in Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona.


Brought in as emergency striker cover in the January transfer window, the towering Dutchman was a surprise feature behind Marcus Rashford on United’s team sheet on Thursday, lining up as a ’10’ rather than a traditional striker.

Ten Hag later admitted that Weghorst’s position in the team was part of a wider plan from the boss to try and get at Barcelona.

From his perspective, however, Weghorst explained what was asked of him before the game.

β€œThis was a game at a high level,” he told ESPN. “Last week I got into that position for the first time during the match in the last half hour. I think [Ten Hag] was satisfied because I heard that I would play in midfield.

“It is very important for [Barcelona] to shift the game, my job was to constantly get in their way and be annoying there so that they don’t get into their game and can play the way they like to do. And to be able to make my depth actions offensively from the second line, because they are vulnerable in that. You saw that in the first half.”

Fellow Dutch international Frenkie de Jong, who was up against Weghorst during the game, begrudgingly confessed that the United man had been successful in his duties.

“He already said it in the tunnel before the game: ‘I’m going to get in your way!’,” the Barcelona midfielder revealed. “And he did a good job.”