HomeFootball NewsWho is Rasmus Hojlund and why do Manchester United want him?

Who is Rasmus Hojlund and why do Manchester United want him?

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Going into the new season it is widely acknowledged that Manchester United are in desperate need of a number nine. Could the young Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund be the solution they are looking for?

Last season Anthony Martial was unreliable again due to his constant injury problems and January loan signing Wout Weghorst just did not appear to be good enough, scoring once in 17 Premier League games for United. Weghorst has now returned to Burnley and is not expected to play for the Old Trafford side this season.

United have been linked with moves for both Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen this summer. But their attempt to sign Kane wil be difficult as Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy does not want the England captain to leave – especially for another English club – and Napoli are asking for a fee of well over £100m for Osimhen.

So, it looks like the Reds are turning their attention to 20-year-old Dane Hojlund. He currently plays his football in Italy with Atalanta under well-respected Italian coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Hojlund only joined the club last season and his first Serie A campaign saw the forward score nine goals in 32 appearances.

Meanwhile, for his country he has six goals in just six games. Denmark’s European Qualifiers in March and June included a Hojlund hat trick in a 3-1 home win to Finland. He was not selected for his nation at the World Cup in Qatar, which saw the Danes crash out with zero wins and only one goal scored in the group stage.

In terms of Holjund’s style of play, his 6”2’ frame makes him a real weapon for his team as he can hold up the ball and bring others into the game. This is exactly what United boss Erik ten Hag is looking for. With Marcus Rashford being so lethal last season from the wing, quality link-up with Hojlund could bring highly positive results.

Once he plays the ball after holding up the play, Holjund has real pace to turn and get into the box to finish the move. His height makes him a real aerial presence in front of goal, which means his teammates can supply both low and high crosses into the box.

Looking at Hojlund as a player, it does seem he would fit the Ten Hag system. However, a fee for the player is the key stumbling block for this move to go through. United are currently willing to pay around £51m, but Atalanta have set down an asking price of £85.5m.

With Mason Mount already signed for £55m, and goalkeeper Andre Onana looking likely to join for another £50m plus fee, the asking price might be too much for United in this window.

The problem for Ten Hag is that he only has one striker available in Martial currently, going into a season where the club will be playing in four competitions. United need a striker of a certain quality.

Hojlund could be a risky signing, especially if the transfer fee is closer to £85.5m than £51m, as the Copenhagen youth product has only had one full season in Italy’s top flight. Before that he made 18 league appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga for Sturm Graz, scoring 9 goals. Given his potential and current quality, United may still consider Hojlund to be their best option to bolster their forward line this summer.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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