When Manchester United take to the colossal Wembley pitch on Sunday afternoon to face Newcastle United, it will mark quite the turnaround in fortunes for both clubs.
The Toon were looking like strong relegation candidates last term before their Saudi investment and Eddie Howe’s arrival while United were a shadow of their former selves prior to Erik ten Hag’s entrance.
Although the Magpies arguably have the upper hand when it comes to the most impressive revival, the Red Devils have come a long way since that 4-0 hammering away at Brentford.
Since then, Ten Hag has instilled belief, character and personality into the Man United ranks.
They now look like a team capable of mixing it with the big boys again and in beating their city rivals and Barcelona since the turn of the year, there is evidence sitting right in front of us.
Coupled with Marcus Rashford, the Dutchman is helping to turn the page at Old Trafford with the ending of a six-year trophy drought today potentially set to send them on their way to greater things.
In order to do that, however, they must assess Wout Weghorst’s position in the team.
Should Weghorst play in the Carabao Cup final?
The gigantic Dutch striker has never been a truly prolific goalscorer but in the face of Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit over the winter, the club sought an ‘anyone will do’ policy.
A deal to bring Weghorst to the north-west was not a simple one; he needed to cancel his loan from Burnley in Turkey before moving to the Premier League giants but it’s safe to say that success hasn’t followed him.
The 30-year-old has found the net just once since moving, coincidentally in the League Cup, but it would not be a surprise if the was ditched on Sunday afternoon.
The £35k-per-week earner has taken up an interesting role since arriving, more recently featuring in a number 10 role with Rashford ahead of him.
At the moment the England star is the first name on the teamsheet but with Jadon Sancho’s emergence as a genuine option behind the striker and with Antony in form having scored against Barcelona in midweek, there are better options than Weghorst.
It would be wrong to suggest that the 6 foot 6 behemoth has been a failure just yet but at such a big club, in a big stadium, surrounded by big-name players, he does look somewhat out of place, “like a fish up a tree” as talkSPORT pundit Jason Cundy quipped this week.
Should Weghorst start the Carabao Cup final?
That is not the striker’s fault at all. He wasn’t the one who engineered a move to United, he was simply just the man for the job at this particular time.
His spell at the club is unlikely to last too long and for that, supporters can’t have too many complaints about his performances.
It could well turn out that his physical presence is vital against the likes of 6 foot 6 Dan Burn and 6 foot 4 Sven Botman this evening, but in a final where it often takes a moment of magic to engineer a win, the likes of Antony and Sancho are better options.
As such, Ten Hag must ensure Weghorst starts this afternoon’s final as an onlooker from the bench.