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Manchester United sign Erling Haaland

source:stupid mouth dumb tongue netedit:computertime:2023-12-07 00:46:38

Manchester United’s search for a striker seems to be nearing its end with reports in Britain suggesting that Danish sensation Rasmus Hojlund, currently playing for Atalanta in the Serie A, will be officially confirmed by the British football club over the next few days. In Hojlund, United seemed to have peeked over their neighbour’s homework and came up with their own version of Manchester City’s latest success story in Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.

Manchester United sign Erling Haaland

Rasmus Winther Hojlund is drawing parallels with Haaland and it is not without reason. The youngster turned 20 this year and is the youngest foreign player to have scored at least three away goals in the Italian league this season. Within the five major European leagues, only Bayern Münich’s Jamal Musiala was ahead with a higher tally of away goals (4) than Hojlund.

Manchester United sign Erling Haaland

Last summer, amidst the hype of the arrival of ‘new Erling Haaland’, Atalana secured Hojlund’s services for €17m. Standing at 1.91m/ /6’3″ tall, his combination of height, pace, and power has seen comparisons to City’s goal-scoring machine, and Hojlund has already started to show just what he can do with a spectacular run of form and goals.

Manchester United sign Erling Haaland

Like Haaland, who is 1.94 m/6’4″ tall and has a similar Scandinavian descent, Hojlund is also a No.9 and can play as a lone striker upfront.

Another Haaland trait noticed by analysts in Hojlund’s game is his desire to be present in central areas unlike a lot of those who tend to drift wide

This led to some of the top European clubs keeping a keen eye on him. United and PSG reportedly battled it out in the summer, but the Danish lad had his sights set on moving to Manchester’s red half.

As a child, Hojlund used to imitate Cristiano Ronaldo. “One day, he told me that he would imitate Cristiano in everything, and he started exercising every night, even with the flu,” his father Anders recalled in an interview with Sportek. The first memory Anders has of his son is the little one playing with a beach ball bigger than him and that day he started kicking the ball. “There, I knew he was left-handed,” recalled Anders.

AdvertisementHojlundHojlund with family. (Twitter)

A product of the Brondby youth academy, Hojlund started as a youngster at Boldklubben in 1893 before joining Danish club FC Copenhagen in 2017, where he finally hit the ground running during the 2020-21 season when he scored 15 goals in 22 games for the club’s U-19 side.

Austrian side Sturm Graz then purchased him for €1.9m from Copenhagen in January 2022, and in just six months, his market value soared high. It was his transfer to SK Sturm Graz that did wonders for him. His record at the Austrian club was 12 goals in 21 games across all competitions.

“I see parallels between myself and Erling Haaland,” Hojlund said upon arriving in Austria. “He is fast, left-footed, tall, has a good nose for goal, and is a classy finisher. His mentality is also completely insane,” he had added.


One of the goals for Graz included a strike that saw him drive forward through the Salzburg backline before firing home an unstoppable left-footed shot, much like Haaland had done.

Raffael Behounek, the Tirol defender who marked Hojlund on his Graz debut, gave an insight into playing against him. Speaking to Laola1, he said, “He will be worth every penny. He is an absolute machine. When he has space, he is tough to defend against.”

Is 19 y/o Rasmus Hojlund the next Haaland? #SerieAScouting

— Nycjuventus Incognito 🥷 (@SerieAScout_) January 19, 2023

When Atalanta signed the potential Haaland clone, he was a player who either scored a goal or provided an assist every 113 minutes during his time in Graz. After settling in, Hojlund took centre stage, scoring nine goals in 32 outings with an xG of 9.5 which also included an excellent work rate.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has spoken highly of the youngster’s talent. “He has extraordinary margins, the evolution he’s had in recent months… He had to get into matches right away. He’s incredibly generous, he has the desire to achieve results. Technically he has margins, in the air, he can do well there too given his stature. He can be a top future striker,” Gasperini said.

Hojlund may not be as fast as Haaland, but he’s fast and sticks centrally, so he’s a goal threat in transition. What also makes him a great fit at United is when they are trying to break down a low block, Hojlund can create separation due to his speed and brute strength but also through technical dribbling.

For example, in the match between Atalanta and Bologna, where Hojlund scored a goal of the highest calibre as he exploded into space and dinked the goalkeeper effortlessly.


Statistically, Hojlund is getting the numbers – his 6.42 touches per 90 minutes in the attacking third is quite impressive. His 8.40 received progressive passes back this up, and place him in the top five per cent of centre-forwards.

Hojlund was handed his full Denmark debut in September last year and has scored six goals.

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Will he be able to compete with Haaland this season? Manchester United fans will know they are not getting a finished product. He may be physically ready, but he will need time to settle down and then become a superstar that he is tipped to become.

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