Rasmus Hojlund’s official shirt number will be assigned soon after his £72 million transfer from Atalanta to Manchester United is finalized.
The Danish hotshot arrived in England on Tuesday and immediately completed the first portion of his physical at United’s Carrington training camp. Hojlund, 20, is the answer to Red Devils manager Erik Ten Hag’s prayers, after pleading with his bosses to sign a striker during the summer transfer window.
Unfortunately for Hojlund, his chances of wearing a historic shirt number at Old Trafford appear to be fading. With Mason Mount getting the historic No.7 shirt from Chelsea this summer, Anthony Martial still wearing No.9, and Marcus Rashford still wearing No.10, the Denmark international may have to opt for a less famous number.
Mason Greenwood still wears the No.11 shirt, which was made famous by club legend Ryan Giggs. The striker is still suspended by Manchester United, and the conclusion of an internal investigation will determine his future, after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped attempted rape, assault, and coercive control charges, which are likely to be announced in the next two weeks.
Having worn the Nos.45 and 28 for local giants Copenhagen in his early days as a senior player, Hojlund subsequently moved to Austrian team Strum Graz and donned the No.9 shirt. That is, until Atalanta paid €17 million (£14.6 million) for him last summer and gave him the No.17 jersey.
That was the same number he wore in Copenhagen’s academy, along with Nos. 11 and 9. It’s certainly nostalgic for Hojlund, but United already have a No.17 in Fred.
That could change soon, as the Brazilian midfielder will miss the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of the United States due to a personal matter, according to the club. Fred’s absence coincided with reports of a move to Turkish heavyweights Galatasaray, who will have to match United’s reputed £20 million asking price.
Fulham have also expressed interest, but the Premier League club are unwilling to pay that much money for a 30-year-old in the final ten months of his contract. Ten Hag might give Holjund the No.17 jersey by shipping Fred out before the Red Devils’ season opener against the Wolves at home on August 14.