Erik ten Hag says new arrival Rasmus Hojlund has “huge potential”

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag explains the club’s reasons for bringing in 20-year-old forward Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta BC.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has explained the club’s capture of Rasmus Hojlund, with the striker officially completing a move to the 20-time English champions on Saturday afternoon.

The Denmark international was presented to the Old Trafford crowd ahead of the pre-season friendly against Lens, which the home side won 3-1.

Hojlund has signed a five-year contract at Man United, with the option of an additional 12 months, although he will be made to wait for his debut due to a minor injury that he suffered during pre-season with Atalanta BC.

Speaking after the clash with Lens, Ten Hag explained what the Dane would bring to Man United, branding him a player with “huge potential”.

“He is really a front man, very direct to the goal. A very good presser, a physical presence and I think in the balance of this squad we needed that,” Ten Hag told MUTV.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag on July 19, 2023© Reuters

“Alongside [Marcus] Rashford, [he is] another player who is direct and can score goals and that is all in his mind – he wants to score goals.

“I think he has such a huge potential and now it is up first to him to explore that and we will support him – all the coaches.

“I’m sure the whole team was waiting for a type like him and they will integrate and in the dressing room or on the pitch they will help him. But as I said, finally the player – he has to prove it.”

Florian Sotoca had sent Lens ahead in Saturday’s pre-season friendly, but Rashford levelled the scores before Antony and Casemiro went on to register for the Red Devils.

Manchester United's Antony celebrates scoring against Lens on August 5, 2023© Reuters

The match saw new signings Andre Onana and Mason Mount make their home debuts for the club following their arrivals from Inter Milan and Chelsea respectively this summer.

Man United will now head to Dublin for their final pre-season friendly, which takes place against La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao on Sunday afternoon.

Ten Hag’s side will then switch their attention to their 2023-24 Premier League opener, which comes against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on August 14.

Hojlund is expected to miss Man United’s first two league games of the season, but he could potentially feature in the clash with Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on August 26.

The Red Devils remain in the market for more signings, with a centre-forward and central midfielder believed to be wanted, while the club are also working on a number of outgoings.

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