Wout Weghorst has come a long way since leading the line at Heracles, as a gangly and extremely raw talent just as likely to slice over the bar as he was to find the back of the net.
These days, the 25-year-old is one of the Eredivisie’s most feared centre-forwards and a player who, by his own admission, is at the top of his game right now. He’s also a player who could have been plying his trade at Celtic if the Scottish champions had gotten their way.
The Scotsman reported in January 2016 that Cardiff City had made a £700,000 bid for the then-Heracles frontman. However, after he fired in 14 goals during an excellent breakthrough season in 2015/16, Heracles were demanding closer to £2 million – a figure Celtic were considering paying as former manager Ronny Deila aimed to ease the club's reliance on Leigh Griffiths.
And while the addition of Moussa Dembele from Fulham that following summer certainly provided Celtic with increased quantity and quality in attack, Weghorst would now look a real snip at just £2 million.
A tally of 17 goals in 26 Eredivisie starts certainly represented a promising debut season for AZ, Weghorst comfortably replacing the league’s Golden Boot holder Vincent Janssen following his ill-fated move to Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Dutch Under-21 international, linked with Fulham this summer by Algemeen Dagblad, is however operating on another level this season, netting six times in his opening six games. He is a relentless attacking threat these days, and only PSV’s new Mexican international Hirving Lozano has scored as many so far.