Ten Hag closing in on Man Utd move for £60m “machine”, just imagine him and Mainoo

Posted by

It appears as though Erik ten Hag may be close to concluding another high-profile summer acquisition, following an update regarding the club’s pursuit of Atalanta hitman, Rasmus Hojlund, given that Manchester United has finalised the signing of Mason Mount and reached an agreement on a cost for Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.

What has changed since Hojlund joined Manchester United?

The Red Devils have been in ‘advanced conversations’ discussing a deal for the 20-year-old, according to Miguel Delaney of the Independent. This means that they are getting closer to signing the sensational Danish player.

According to the report, there is growing “confidence” that the transfer will be completed sooner rather than later, and the young player is reportedly “excited” about the possibility of moving to Old Trafford, even though discussions about the nature of potential add-ons in the deal are still ongoing.

According to the article, contrary to earlier concerns that the Serie A team could try to demand a fee of around £80 million, it is believed that an agreement can be achieved for closer to £60 million as United looks to comply with Financial Fair Play requirements.

Just how talented is Rasmus Hojlund?

Given that the Carabao Cup winners presently only have Anthony Martial, a senior option through the middle who missed 27 games due to injury last season, as their only center-forward option, it is not particularly surprising that Ten Hag has appeared to prioritise a move for a new center-forward over the summer thus far.

Due to his frequent trips to the hospital, the mercurial Frenchman managed just nine goals in all competitions last season. Wout Weghorst, a January loanee who had scored just two goals in 31 games in the second half of the previous season, too struggled to find his scoring touch.

It is unclear if Hojlund will be able to have an immediate impact next season because he only scored nine league goals in Italy last season, which are hardly impressive stats. A more dependable attacking presence is needed to lead the line.

The hope is that the 6 foot 3 “machine” – as former rival Raffael Behounek called the Dane – can emerge as United’s main man in the long run, with anticipation over his talent building due to comparisons to a certain, Erling Haaland. This will allay any potential short-term concerns regarding the Dane’s influence.

With Hojlund and players like Kobbie Mainoo, Ten Hag could have a spine to his team that is truly intriguing in the next two or three years. Mainoo, a master of the midfield, appears poised to be the next major breakout star from the academy levels.

The 18-year-old, a member of the team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022, went on to make three senior competitive appearances last season after being recognised as the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year for his outstanding performances throughout the age groups.

The aspiring starlet, described as a “exceptional prospect” by Manchester Evening News columnist Steven Railston, is expected to stay in the first-team lineup for the 2023–24 season because Ten Hag has no plans to loan him away this summer.

It might not be long until Mainoo is positioned as the centre of the midfield given that players like Christian Eriksen and Casemiro are now in their 30s. Hojlund will likely be used as the leading number nine in front of Mainoo.

That is a tantalising possibility, as the Atalanta star appears to have “above-average football intelligence” according to Graz manager Christian Ilzer, and Mainoo has a “really good footballing brain” according to youth coach Travis Binnion. Ten Hag will probably be thrilled to have the opportunity to develop two such bright, developing gems who have not yet reached their full potential.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *