Despite being United’s top scorer in the Champions League group stage with five goals, 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund has yet to find the net in 13 appearances in the Premier League. The Danish striker, signed in the close season for a reported fee of £72 million ($91.61 million) from Atalanta, had an impressive 16-goal season previously.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag remains confident in Hojlund’s abilities, expressing support for the young striker to score in the Premier League, even as the team faces challenges in front of the goal.
Hojlund’s transfer to Manchester United during the close season made headlines, with a reported fee of £72 million ($91.61 million) from Atalanta. This move followed his successful 16-goal performance in the previous season.
Although Hojlund emerged as United’s top scorer in the Champions League group stage, netting five goals, he has yet to replicate that success in 13 Premier League appearances.
Ten Hag addressed the situation ahead of Saturday’s match against West Ham United, stating, “We are open, he is open. His mentality is great. I think he is a very good performer under stress, and he deals with that.”
The manager emphasized that the goal-scoring responsibility is not solely on Hojlund but extends to other players such as Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay. He also highlighted the importance of fullbacks contributing to goal creation.
Ten Hag remains optimistic about the team’s improvement, especially when the squad is fully available and balanced. United has faced goal-scoring challenges in recent games, failing to score in the last three, including losses to Bournemouth and Bayern Munich, and a goalless draw at Liverpool.
“We know we have to improve; we played well in those games, but we should have created more chances, and we should have been more clinical,” commented the Dutch manager.
He emphasized the collective responsibility, stating, “It’s not about one player; it’s about the group of us. In my philosophy, we have to attack with 11 players. We have to get the movements better, the decision-making on the ball has to be better, and sometimes also we have to be more clinical.”
Despite the challenges, Ten Hag faces injuries and illnesses in the squad, affecting their standing in seventh place. He provided updates, saying, “We have some doubts, some illnesses during the week, so we have to see who is available for tomorrow. Hopefully, they are recovered, but we have to see.”
He also shared that Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez are not available before Christmas, with an expected return in mid-January. Mason Mount is similarly expected back in January, while Harry Maguire’s return is anticipated earlier. Unfortunately, Victor Lindelof is unavailable due to surgery and will be out for a couple of weeks.