Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag went against his own preferences to sign Rasmus Hojlund.
The Red Devils are close to completing a deal for the Danish hitman. They have agreed to pay Atalanta £72 million for his services, with personal terms expected to be a formality.
Hojlund will arrive in Manchester on Tuesday for his medical. Once that process is completed, the Red Devils’ long quest for a striker will be over. At the start of the window, Erik ten Hag declared his intention to sign a new forward.
A slew of names have been linked with transfers to Old Trafford, with the Dutchman reportedly saying he wants to sign a forward who represents “no risk.” On that front, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Napoli wonder Victor Osimhen were great candidates.
Hojlund, on the other hand, is a different story. While he is certainly a quality forward, United is paying a high price for a 20-year-old with only two complete seasons of professional football under his belt.
He made his debut for Copenhagen during the 2020/21 season but did not make an impact until the following season. Before joining Sturm Graz, he made 32 appearances for the Danish club.
Hojlund spent just over half a season in Austria, scoring 12 goals in 21 appearances before joining Atalanta last season. There is little doubt that he continued to grow in Bergamo, but there is no assurance that he will be able to make an immediate impact in the Premier League.
Despite this, Danish compatriot Christian Eriksen is a big fan of the youngster. On the international stage, the Manchester United playmaker has seen Hojlund up close.
Hojlund has already established an impressive record for his country, scoring six goals in six games since making his debut in September of last year. During United’s pre-season tour of the United States, Eriksen stated of a prospective future teammate, “What’s he like?” He’s a capable No. 9.
“He’s grown a lot in the last year since I first saw him with the national team, so he’s a very good player.”I believe it’s because we don’t get enough media coverage in Denmark, thus people outside of Denmark don’t know enough. He’s a good player and a kind man. As I already stated, he has matured, becoming only a No.9 for the national team.”
As the new Premier League season approaches, Hojlund will be looking to demonstrate that he is not as risky as first imagined. This weekend, United will play two more preseason friendlies against Lens and Athletic Bilbao. Ten Hag’s team will subsequently kick off their season against Wolves, by which time he hopes his new striker has sharpened his crosshairs.