Rasmus Hojlund: Why Man Utd have spent €85m on 'the Danish Erling Haaland'

Rasmus Hojlund Man UtdGetty

It's no secret that Manchester United were in desperate need of a new No.9. Cristiano Ronaldo's departure last November left a gaping hole in the squad, and Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst was never going to be the right man to fill it.

Unitedpassed on a permanent deal for Weghorst, who only managed to score twice in 31 appearances after his arrival at Old Trafford in January, leaving Erik ten Hag with only Anthony Martial left to call upon as a natural centre-forward. By this stage, he will be well aware that the injury-plagued Frenchman cannot be relied upon.

Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, is riding high after his first 30-goal campaign, but he has always been better suited to a left-ring role than a central striker. United needed a ruthless marksman up top, and were credited with an interest in some of Europe's finest.

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Ten Hag's initial shortlist reportedly included Tottenham talisman Harry Kane, Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen and Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani. But United were priced out of a deal for Kane and Osimhen also proved too pricey. The Kolo Muani links cooled also.

Enter Rasmus Hojlund. After lengthy negotiations, United have finally agreed a deal for Hojlund worth an initial €75m (£64m/$83m) plus €10m (£9m/$11m) in add-ons. He has arrived on a five-year contract - an indication that the Red Devils are banking on him becoming their long-term No.9.

Hojlund has enjoyed a breakout 2022-23 season in Serie A, but is he ready to lead the line for one of the biggest clubs in world football? GOAL examines his potential...