Ten Hag: Hojlund and Rashford to hit it off

Tuesday 19 September 2023 20:02

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford will forge a fruitful strike partnership at the club.

Denmark international Hojlund made his first start against Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend, and was denied a dream home debut when his clever finish to a Rashford centre was ruled out when VAR decided the ball had marginally crossed the byline before it was delivered.

It will clearly take time for the two new team-mates to gel but their pairing ahead of a diamond-formation midfield suggests Erik expects they will combine to good effect, in order to unsettle defences.

Press conference v Bayern Munich Video

Press conference v Bayern Munich

Press conference | See how Erik ten Hag and Andre Onana answered the media's questions at the Allianz Arena...

With Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena posing the next big challenge, in the UEFA Champions League Group A opener on Wednesday night, there will hopefully be more sparks between the front-runners.

When asked if Marcus can transform his game to work in tandem with the former Atalanta man, Erik replied: "Yes, absolutely. The two can benefit from each other. But they have to know each other and that process has only just started. At the same time, we need results and so it has to go hand in hand.

"But we learn from every training [session] and we learn from every game. Of course, we reflect togetherness and, of course, we lead that as a coaching staff. But we have also seen that Rasmus and Rashy are together, they're talking about how they can benefit from it.

"So you can see that discussion, that interaction on the pitch is going on, and that is a good sign. I'm sure they will get that connection. I think the connection is already there but I think they will get there."

The manager was inevitably asked about Harry Kane, Bayern's glamorous summer signing from Tottenham Hotspur, and whether he was an option for the Reds, as had been speculated for some time.

However, Ten Hag stressed he had already explained that situation during the summer tour of the United States and is obviously delighted to have the hugely promising Hojlund on board.

"I think we discussed it in San Diego so I don't think we have to repeat this debate," stated the boss. "We are happy with Rasmus. Obviously, in the first games, he was injured. He played against Arsenal and now he has had his first start.

"So now, of course, we have to integrate him into the team but you can see he is a big talent and he will contribute to our game. We are quite confident about that."