Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rasmus Hojlund compared to Man Utd legend, but one trait could make him even better

Man Utd striker Rasmus Hojlund

Peter Schmeichel compared new Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund to Wayne Rooney, though reckons the Dane has one key advantage.

Hojlund, 20, is the player Man Utd hope will expertly lead their line for the better part of the next decade. The Denmark international cost £72m (including add-ons) when plucked from Atalanta over the summer.

Hojlund has earned early plaudits for his willingness to battle opposing centre-backs physically, though there’s far more to the frontman’s game than just strength.

United’s No 11 has quickly endeared himself to the United faithful. Indeed, the boos when substituted for Anthony Martial during the 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Saturday were audible around Old Trafford.

But prior to the Seagulls clash – in which Hojlund was denied his first goal for the club due to a marginal VAR call – the Dane came in for glowing praise from fellow countryman Schmeichel.

Speaking to United’s club media, the legendary goalkeeper insisted Hojlund possesses zero weaknesses in his game.

Schmeichel then insisted Hojlund is one of a kind, though did suggest the player he bares the closest resemblance to is United icon Wayne Rooney.

However, with Hojlund boasting far greater speed than Rooney ever did, Schmeichel claimed Hojlund has an extra string to his bow.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a player like him” – Schmeichel on Hojlund

“He’s a very, very nice boy,” said Schmeichel. “I’ve been asked about him a lot, and the phrase I always use is that he has a lot of unfulfilled potential.

“There isn’t a weakness in his game. There isn’t a part of his game where he can’t be absolutely excellent. A lot of that has to come from how he handles himself, and I’m absolutely sure he’ll do that well, but it’s also about how he’s being coached.

“This guy is everything: he’s big, strong, quick, physical, technical, tactically adept. Everything you want in a footballer, everything you want in a striker. He’s got the nose, as well, of a No 9.

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“The half hour we saw against Arsenal is not a false positive, in my opinion,” he added. “We saw who he is: he comes in, bullies defenders, wants the ball, isn’t afraid of getting involved, his running puts pressure on the opposition.

“He’s just got complete and utter unfulfilled potential and I’m very excited about him at United, because I don’t think we’ve ever had a player like him.

“We’ve had different players in combinations, but the closest one I can get to is Wayne Rooney. Rooney wasn’t slow, but Rasmus is quick, and that’s different.

“I’m not saying Rasmus is as good as Wayne, because, my God, Wayne was so good and he achieved so much, but Rasmus could be that kind of player.”

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