How will Rasmus Højlund fit in at Manchester United?

Manchester United have agreed a deal with Atalanta to sign Rasmus Hojlund, with outline personal terms on a five-year contract already in place.

Rasmus Højlund manchester united

The Red Devils made a verbal offer of €50m plus €10m in add-ons to Atalanta for the striker on Wednesday while Paris Saint-Germain tabled their own bid of €50m on Thursday. Atalanta wanted more than €70million for the Denmark international, but there was an optimism that a compromise can be reached between the two clubs after weeks of talks.

As per reliable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United will pay a package of around €70m with add-ons to Atalanta for Rasmus Hojlund. He has agreed to personal terms over his move to Old Trafford and will sign a five-year contract with an additional 12 months, with the striker only wanting to join Erik ten Hag’s side.

Hojlund, 20, was left out of Atalanta’s squad in their friendly against Bournemouth on Saturday as Man United were in advanced negotiations with the Serie A club. The Red Devils have been chasing the Danish attacker for a long time now, and with Erik ten Hag reiterating the need for a natural No.9 following his side’s friendly defeat to Real Madrid in Texas on Thursday, the club have quickly acted to complete the signing of Hojlund.

Man United will hope to complete the documentation for the striker as soon as possible so that he can join the team for pre-season. Hojlund is set to become the Red Devils’ third signing of the summer transfer window after the arrivals of Mason Mount and Andre Onana.

With that being said, here’s how Hojlund could fit in at Man United under Ten Hag.

How will Rasmus Hojlund fit in at Man United?

Manchester United entered the summer transfer window in search of a new striker after struggling for goals last season. Rasmus Hojlund caught the eye of Man United boss Erik ten Hag after a promising 2022/23 season in Serie A. However, his return of nine goals in 32 league appearances demonstrated that he is nowhere near the finished article yet. He has also netted six times in six games for the Danish national team.

Yet, Ten Hag is betting on the young Danish striker to be the next superstar striker in European football. The Red Devils are conscious that Hojlund is more potential and investment for the future rather than the finished article but believe Ten Hag’s coaching could help develop him into a world-class footballer.

As and when the Denmark international joins, the understanding is that Marcus Rashford may need to play some games as United’s No.9 while Hojlund adapts to the demands of Premier League football and gains experience.

Option 1: Starts as Man United’s new No.9

Hojlund will provide what Ten Hag wants from him—goals. He can lead the attack for the Red Devils and score all kinds of goals, provided he is fed well by players such as Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho and Christian Eriksen. The 20-year-old’s clever off-the-ball movement, link up play, speed and ruthless finishing skills should make him a brilliant fit in Ten Hag’s system and lower the goalscoring pressure off the other forwards.

Option 2: Partners Marcus Rashford up front

The Dane’s arrival will allow Ten Hag to tinker with his formation. The Dutch tactician could potentially change to a 4-4-2 formation in games against weaker sides to increase Man United’s goalscoring output.

Hojlund can operate just ahead of Rashford, who can enjoy the free role of a second striker and stretch defences with his directness and pace. Sancho can play off the left and Antony can hold the width from the right, while Bruno Fernandes plays in a deeper No.8 role alongside Casemiro in the middle of the park.

Blessed with a lethal left foot and impressive footballing brain, Hojlund has shown glimpses of how lethal he can be in front of goal in Serie A. He is clearly on the path to stardom, and with time, experience and adaptation, Hojlund will become the perfect striker United have craved for a very long time.

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