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Dreamed of walking out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player: Rasmus Hojlund

Dreamed of walking out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player: Rasmus Hojlund

Manchester United completed the signing of Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta for a reported cost of £64 million ($82 million) on Saturday.

As United manager Erik ten Hag finally achieved his dream to bring in a striker ahead of the new Premier League season, Hojlund agreed to a five-year contract with the option of an additional season.

If add-on terms in his contract are satisfied, the 20-year-old could cost United an additional £8 million.

"It is no secret that I have been a fan of this great club since I was a small boy, and I have always dreamed of walking out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player," Hojlund said.

"I am ecstatic about the opportunity to make that dream a reality, and I am determined to repay the club's faith in me."

"It's early in my career, but I know I'm ready to take this next step and play alongside this group of world-class players."

Just hours after his deal was revealed, Hojlund was introduced to United fans on the Old Trafford pitch before of their 3-1 friendly victory against Lens.

Ten Hag made Hojlund his primary priority after apparently refusing to pay Tottenham's asking price for England striker Harry Kane, who seems to be on his way to German champions Bayern Munich.

Before United won the race, French champions Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be interested in signing Hojlund.

Ten Hag was eager to improve his striker options following a season in which his team lacked a cutting edge.

United finished third in the Premier League with 58 goals, 36 fewer than winners Manchester City.

Although Hojlund has a modest profile in comparison to many of his new teammates, Ten Hag is convinced he will flourish in the limelight at Old Trafford.

"He's a tremendous showman. Ten Hag described himself as "very direct to the goal, very good presser, and a physical presence."

"He desires to score goals. I believe he has enormous potential. And now it's up to him to investigate it, and all of us coaches will assist him.

"The squad was looking for someone like him. They will integrate him into the team and assist him on the pitch."

Since beginning his career in relative anonymity with Danish team FC Copenhagen in 2020, Hojlund has seen a meteoric ascent.

He then went on to Sturm Graz in Austria, where his 12 goals in 21 games prompted Atalanta to sign him in August 2022.

Last season, he scored 10 goals in 34 appearances for the Italian club in all competitions, grabbing Ten Hag's attention.

Physical presence

Hojlund, who is 6ft 2ins tall and has six goals in six games for Denmark, should have the physical presence to deal with the aggressive attitude of Premier League defenders.

In addition to his intimidating stature, he possesses scorching pace and predatory instincts in the penalty area.

Gian Piero Gasperini, Hojlund's Atalanta manager, compared him to Manchester City's record-breaking striker Erling Haaland, whose goals helped United's opponents win the treble last season.

Ten Hag guided United to their first trophy in six years in his first season as manager, defeating Newcastle in the League Cup final in February.

However, the Dutch coach intends to mount a prolonged title assault this season, and Hojlund will be expected to make an immediate impact after his acquisition increased Ten Hag's off-season expenditure to more than £160 million.

Hojlund is United's third significant acquisition since last season, after the arrivals of Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount and Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana.

The Danish striker might make his competitive debut for United against Wolves at Old Trafford on August 14 in their first Premier League match.