After all the speculation on the summer transfer window rumour mill linking Manchester United and manager Erik ten Hag with having a strong interest in Denmark international striker, Rasmus Hojlund, on Saturday afternoon the club officially announced his signing.
The 20 year old comes in with high expectations about what he will ultimately bring to Old Trafford in the years ahead, and having cut his teeth in spells with FC Copenhagen and Sturm Graz where he started to show his goal scoring potential, he thrived in Atalanta’s 2022/23 Serie A campaign where he scored ten times in 20 starts and 14 substitute showings.
Having come through the Danish youth age groups, he exploded into life when drafted in to the senior squad and back in March 2023 in their Euro 2024 qualifying clash with Finland, he marked his full international debut with a hat-trick that took them to a 3-1 victory. He has now made six appearances in total for his country, scoring six times. For those fans who like a small flutter and plan on having a wager on Man U results in the coming year, Hojlund would be a good pick to get most of those goals that take them to the wins.
Given United have agreed to pay a whopping £72 million for his services, that fee given his relative experience will certainly raise some eyebrows, but he is very much a signing with an eye to the future given his age – and United have already tied him down to a long term five year deal.
Speaking for himself as his capture was announced, Hojlund explained.
“It is no secret I have been a fan of this great club since I was a small boy. I dreamed of walking out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player.”
He becomes Ten Hag’s fourth capture of the summer, following on from the arrivals of Mason Mount, the returning Jonny Evans (as a free agent on a short term deal) and goalkeeper Andre Onana, and the Dutchman is clearly pleased with this signing in particular.
“He is a real frontman. Very direct to the goal, very good presser, a physical presence. I think in the balance of this squad, we needed that, alongside Rashford, another player who is direct and can score a goal. That is all in his mind: he wants to score goals. I think he has huge potential. And now it’s up to him first, to explore that and we will support him, all the coaches, the team. The team was waiting for a type like him. They will integrate him in the dressing room and in the pitch; they will help him.”
“Finally, the player has to prove it. That is the character we need; we need hungry players and he is a player who is so determined to score goals, winning games and winning trophies.”
It will be a few weeks before fans of the Red Devil’s actually get to see him in action as he is set to miss the opening few games of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign after suffering a small injury during his pre season build up with Atalanta, but Hojlund is looking forward to making a positive impression.
“I am incredibly excited by this opportunity to turn a dream into a reality, and I am determined to repay the faith the club has shown in me. It is still early in my career, but I know I am ready to make this step up and play with this group of world-class players. Once I had spoken to the manager, I knew this environment would be perfect for my development; I am relishing the opportunity to work with one of the best coaches in the world. Under his guidance and support I know that I am capable of achieving great things together with my new team-mates at this special club.”
It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to life in England.
Image from: unsplash.com