Manchester United eyeing rising star Rasmus Hojlund for striker role

Web Desk
Atalanta wants £60m for Rasmus Hojlund - and he has been heavily linked with Manchester United.—Getty Images
Atalanta wants £60m for Rasmus Hojlund - and he has been heavily linked with Manchester United.—Getty Images

Rasmus Hojlund, a rising star in the footballing world, is drawing comparisons to Erling Haaland due to their similar attributes and goal-scoring prowess. 

The 20-year-old Danish international has become a prime target for Manchester United, with manager Erik Ten Hag confirming the club's progress in their search for a new striker. However, United remains cautious about meeting Atalanta's hefty £60 million valuation for the talented forward.

Hojlund's football journey started at Boldklubben af 1893 and at Brondby during his youth, and he made his senior debut for Copenhagen at the age of 17 in 2020. Despite initially struggling in the Danish Superliga, his career took a transformative turn when he moved to the Austrian club Sturm Graz in January 2022. 

There, he displayed his lethal left foot and footballing intelligence, impressing with his ability to find space and time his runs to perfection, resulting in nine goals in 17 starts.

Following his success at Sturm Graz, Atalanta secured Hojlund's services for a reported £15 million, a move that proved to be a bargain as he excelled in Serie A. In the previous season, Hojlund netted an impressive 20 goals in 47 appearances for both Atalanta and the Danish national team, earning accolades for his performances, including a memorable hat-trick against Finland in the European Championship qualifiers.

While Hojlund's potential is evident, a comparison with Haaland reveals that he still has room for growth. Haaland's prolific goal-scoring record of 36 goals in 35 league appearances for Manchester City last season far surpasses Hojlund's rate of a goal every 204 minutes in Serie A. However, it is crucial to note that Hojlund is still in the early stages of his professional career, having only completed two full seasons. In comparison, Haaland managed 12 goals in 25 appearances for Molde in his second season.

Hojlund possesses attributes that make him an exciting prospect for Manchester United. His lightning-fast goal against Lazio showcased his acceleration and precision, which, coupled with the support of wingers like Rashford, Garnacho, and Sancho, could create one of the fastest front threes in the Premier League. Moreover, his delicate touch and dribbling skills add a flair reminiscent of a winger, yet he possesses the physique of a traditional number nine.

Manchester United is in need of a centre-forward, with Rashford's versatility often seeing him deployed wide rather than centrally. The team has ruled out pursuing world-class frontmen like Mbappe and Kane, signalling their focus on potential prospects like Hojlund. While raw, Hojlund exhibits glimpses of quality that hint at a promising future and the potential to evolve into a star.

As Manchester United continues its search for the ideal striker to bolster their attack, Hojlund's talent, coupled with his raw potential, could make him the perfect fit for the club's starting XI.