Rasmus Hojlund

Ten Hag: Be patient with Hojlund

Tuesday 14 May 2024 12:31

Erik ten Hag has reiterated his belief in Rasmus Hojlund’s ability to lead the line for Manchester United, saying the Dane needs to be afforded some time to develop.

Hojlund, who signed for the Reds from Atalanta last August, has scored 14 times in 40 appearances, placing him just one behind our top goal-getter for the season, Bruno Fernandes.

Rasmus’s debut was delayed by a month due to injury and he suffered further problems in the winter and spring, but still managed five goals in our UEFA Champions League campaign and went on a real hot streak after Christmas, netting for six Premier League matches on the run.

The 21-year-old has been less prolific of late, with his goal in April’s 4-2 win over Sheffield United his first since overcoming a muscle issue which brought that purple patch to a premature end.

Ten Hag pointed out these frustrating pauses in action when assessing what he still sees as a promising maiden campaign for our no.11.

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“He has had three injuries this season but still, as you say, scored 14 goals in this season,” Ten Hag said at Tuesday’s press conference, in response to a question about Hojlund’s output after returning to the side in March.

“I think that is a very good record for a young player.

“When we decided to go for him, we talked about earlier that we buy a player for this season but also for the future.

“He has to develop. He has to progress. He needs time.”

The Dutchman believes Hojlund has the personality to be able to cope with any dry spells in front of goal.

He used Rasmus breaking his Premier League drought against Aston Villa on Boxing Day before going on his purple patch as an example, highlighting that there are still three games left this season for him to embellish his tally.

“Sometimes, it is going up and down and he also, before winter, he struggled to get his first goal in the Premier League but there you see he is a very strong character.

“Sometimes, you have downs but I am sure he will fight his way and he is very eager for every match, so it can be there, also in every match to return his form.

“I am quite confident he is close.”