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£2m Celtic target in 2016, Wout Weghorst is now a Dutch international

Celtic

£2m Celtic target in 2016, Wout Weghorst is now a Dutch international

The AZ Alkmaar striker made his international debut this week.

In January of 2016 Celtic identified the striker target they wanted to bring in to counteract the lack of impact of summer arrival Nadir Ciftci. The player in question was Heracles Almelo striker Wout Weghorst, with The Scotsman suggesting he could be a Celtic player for a fee of £2 million.

A towering figure at 6ft 4ins tall Weghorst was in good form with the Eredivisie club and Celtic’s interest looked promising.

However, the Dutchman did not head to Glasgow and in the summer headed to Dutch rivals AZ Alkmaar as a replacement for the Tottenham Hotspur-bound Vincent Janssen.

ALKMAAR, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 02: Team mate, Wout Weghorst runs towards Goalkeeper, Tim Krul of AZ Alkmaar as he celebratres saving the final penalty in the shoot out to win the Dutch KNVB Cup Semi-final match between AZ Alkmaar and SC Cambuur held at AFAS Stadion on March 2, 2017 in Alkmaar, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

It is fair to say Celtic are now regretting not signing the player. Weghorst has been in fantastic form since joining AZ. Last season he found the back of the net on 18 occasions and this season has been even more impressive for the 24-year-old.

Weghorst has scored 22 goals for AZ this season and that form has paid off with the ultimate accolade. With Janssen injured, Weghorst received his first call-up to the Netherlands national team. New manager Ronald Koeman went on to hand him his debut in the 1-0 loss against England in the week.

That January, when Celtic failed to secure a deal for Weghorst they did sign Colin Kazim-Richards who, along with Carlton Cole, did not fill any sort of striker void.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 06: Colin Kazim-Richards of Celtic shoots at goal during the William Hill Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park Stadium on March 6, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)

Since then Celtic have done better in the transfer market. Scott Sinclair has added goals from attacking midfield whilst Moussa Dembele is a top talent.

But Weghorst is a different beast to both players and would have been an excellent asset for Celtic.

Now he is playing at international level for the Netherlands, Celtic would find it hard to convince the striker into a Parkhead switch.

If only the Bhoys could have secured his signature when they had the chance.

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Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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