Rasmus Hojlund: Manchester United are set to sign the Danish striker - here's all you need to know

Haaland and Rasmus Hojlund, both are 6ft with a mop of blond hair. Ruthless in the final third, both will be playing for Manchester clubs.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Rasmus Hojlund | Sportz Point

Haaland and Rasmus Hojlund, both are over 6ft with a mop of blond hair. Both are ruthless in the final third. And, by the start of the new Premier League season, both will be playing for Manchester clubs.

On Saturday, United agreed a deal worth £72m to sign 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund from Italian side Atalanta.

The deal in principle is worth an initial £64m with a further £8m in add-ons. Atalanta went into negotiations wanting £77m guaranteed.

As previously reported by Sky Sports News, the forward's destination of choice has been Old Trafford, so there was no concern over PSG's interest in the Denmark international.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the overall package will be worth around €70m (£60.1m) with add-ons, and the striker has already agreed a five-year contract with Ten Hag's side.

Personal terms were no issue, with Hojlund agreeing a five-year contract with the option of an additional 12 months.

The Premier League side were handed a boost on Saturday when Atalanta signed Almeria forward El Bilal Toure, while Hojlund was left out of the squad that played Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly.

Ten Hag's team was the lowest scoring side in the Premier League's top six last season with 58 goals and Höjlund is one of Europe's best young players albeit he is so far unproven.

Höjlund is yet to play 100 senior games in his career and last season scored nine times in 32 appearances in Serie A. He's scored 27 goals in his senior career during spells at Copenhagen, Sturm Graz and Atalanta and has six in six appearances at international level for Denmark.

What will he bring to the Premier League and United's attack, and can he really rival Haaland?

After youth spells at Boldklubben af 1893 and Brondby, Hojlund began his senior career at Copenhagen, making his debut aged 17 in 2020.

Still developing, he struggled in the Danish Superliga as a youngster, leaving in January 2022 having failed to score in his 19 league appearances - though only two of those were starts.

He joined Austrian side Sturm Graz - a move that turbocharged his career.

Across the second half of the 2021-22 season, Hojlund scored a goal every other game, netting nine times in 17 starts.

Rasmus Hojlund and United strikers compared (league games 2022-23)
Hojlund Rashford Martial
Games played 33 35 21
Goals 9 17 6
Assists 2 5 2
Minutes per goal 204 170 163
Total shots 44 81 19
Goal conversion 20% 21% 32%

Hojlund caught the eye with his lethal left foot and impressive footballing brain. The striker became exceptional at moving into space, timing runs to perfection to set up a wide variety of finishes.

His form led to a move south to Italian club Atalanta for a reported £15m, 10 times what Sturm Graz had paid for him in January.

That figure now looks like a bargain.

Last season he scored 20 goals in 47 appearances for the Serie A side and Denmark, whom he made his debut for in September.

In March, he struck five goals in two European Championship qualifiers for the Danes, including a hat-trick against Finland.

How does Hojlund match up against Haaland?

A split picture of Erling Haaland and Hojlund | Sportz Point

Haaland's goalscoring eclipsed Hojlund's last term but both are near the start of their careers (Image- BBC)

So the potential is there, but when you compare his numbers with Haaland's, Hojlund is a long way off the Norwegian.

Haaland hit 36 goals in 35 appearances for Manchester City in the league last season - a goal every 77 minutes. In Serie A, Hojlund found the net every 204 minutes.

That said, Haaland had a record-breaking season, is two years older, plays for the European champions and is further along in his career.

Hojlund has only had two full seasons as a professional. In Haaland's second season, he managed a more modest 12 goals in 25 appearances for Molde.

So while Rasmus Hojlund is not the finished article, he can be moulded and refined and may become the perfect fit for United's starting XI.

There have been glimpses of how lethal Hojlund can become - and his goal against Lazio last season was Haaland-esque. As Ademola Lookman started a counter-attack down the left wing, Hojlund sprinted from the halfway line, squeezed past two defenders and slid in to reach a cross.

With support from wingers such as Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho, United could boast one of the fastest front threes in the Premier League.

But Rasmus Hojlund also has a delicate touch and he dribbles more than Haaland - averaging about 10 more touches per match.

In a sense, he has the qualities of a winger, but the physique of a number nine.

Rasmus Hojlund | Sportz Point

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini claims Hojlund can run 100m in under 11 seconds (Image- BBC)

United are in need of a centre-forward. With Anthony Martial spending much of last season sidelined through injury, Rashford has become the team's talisman.

The England striker was exceptional last term, scoring 30 goals in 56 games - one every 143 minutes. But his best position is wide on the left, cutting in on his stronger right foot.

United chose not to sign Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst on a permanent deal at the start of this transfer window.

They privately ruled out making approaches for Paris St-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Tottenham's Harry Kane, who are both world-class frontmen.

What they will get with Rasmus Hojlund is raw potential.

But there are signs of quality, glimpses that suggest he is on the path to stardom.

Manchester United