Rasmus Hojlund admits he had ‘problems’ with four Manchester United players

Man Utd complete signing of Rasmus Hojlund

Rasmus Hojlund admits he had “problems” linking up with the other forwards at Manchester United when he first moved to Old Trafford. The Danish goal-machine joined the Red Devils this summer from Atalanta for £72million, and although he hasn’t quite hit the ground running just yet in front of goal, his performances have been impressive.

In United’s last outing against FC Copenhagen, he was a spectator for the first half as his teammates failed to find him in space but when he was eventually set free he spearheaded the Red Devils attacks. Besides goal contributions, Hojlund boasts excellent hold-up play, positioning, and perhaps most importantly of all, top-tier interlinking passing. 

However, the 21-year-old admits it has taken him some time to get used to playing alongside fellow forwards Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho, who have all lined up next to him this season.

“We had a few problems here in the beginning. But I think we slowly get the connections now we have everybody back, Antony is now back as well and we start to link the play together now,” he told The United Stand.

“Like you said, my role is to score goals but as well it is to show my strength and help the guys on the pitch. And that is one of the key things in our play: to hold up the play and do attacks from there.”

Hojlund has been unable to get off the mark in the Premier League for his new club this season but has bagged three goals in as many games in Europe. Since moving from Atalanta his chances in front of goal have taken a hit. Last season, he was getting off 2.65 shots per 90 minutes in Italy while for United he is averaging 2.36 so far.

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His attempted passes per 90 minutes are also down from 20.82 to 15.86 while his chances created have dropped from 1.18 to 0.86. A decline in the aforementioned stats is to be expected due to the steep learning curve of joining a new club and league but there are many positive signs in the data as well.

Although Hojlund’s numbers for attempted passes have declined, his pass success ratio is up from 74.3 per cent to 78.4 per cent while his dribble success ratio has seen a steady increase from 49.15 per cent to 55.56 per cent despite his attempted dribbles dropping from 2.9 to 1.93 per 90 minutes. While he is less involved in the build-up play, for now, he is more effective in transition for United than he was at Atalanta. 

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