Ten Hag could sign his answer to Rice with Man United swoop for £100k-p/w “warrior”

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Manchester United has a history of waiting until the very end of the transfer window, so it appears that this could be yet another hectic moment for the team before the upcoming deadline on Friday.

According to writer Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, there may still be a number of new hires over the next few days, with the inclusion of a new left-back being a top priority in light of the injury to Luke Shaw.

Although Mason Mount, the team’s new number seven, joined earlier in the summer, there is a thought that United could yet want another midfield addition. Several rumours suggest that a late deal for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham Hotspur could be in the works.

What’s new with Hojbjerg and Manchester United?

The Red Devils are rumoured to have been offered the chance to recruit the Denmark international from their Premier League rivals, as 90min’s Graeme Bailey revealed on Tuesday. The 28-year-old is expected to be permitted to depart if a suitable bid were to emerge from a potential suitor.

Throughout the summer transfer window, La Liga team Atletico Madrid showed interest in the former Southampton player. However, a potential £30 million transfer to the Spanish capital fell through, leaving United free to seize the opportunity.

According to the rumour, Erik ten Hag and company are exploring midfield replacements for Fiorentina star Sofyan Amrabat, which explains their interest in luring Hojbjerg away from north London in a last-ditch effort.

Hojbjerg is how good?

Some United supporters may be apprehensive about the idea of signing a player who appears to be unnecessary at one of their rivals, but if Hojbjerg, who has been dubbed a “warrior” by Sky Sports reporter Nubaid Haroon, is to make an immediate impact at Old Trafford, such a move may prove to be especially wise.

The comparison between the £100,000-per-week Dane and Declan Rice, Arsenal’s most recent acquisition for £105 million, is particularly noteworthy because, according to FBref, the two players exhibit a number of stylistic and statistical parallels.

Similarity between Rice and the Spurs destroyer can be seen in their forward-thinking approach from midfield, with the Gunners star averaging 6.84 progressive passes per 90, while Hojbjerg is just behind with an average of 6.51 over the past 365 days. Rice had reportedly been a target for the Red Devils before joining the Gunners.

As the latter player ranks in the top 8% among his European counterparts for pass completion, while the England international ranks in the top 16% for that same metric, the two players are equally adept at controlling the tempo in the centre of the pitch.

However, the duo’s ability to win the ball is what really stands out. Hojbjerg averaged a respectable three tackles and interceptions per game last season, while Rice was barely ahead with 3.8 tackles per game in the 2022–23 season.

The Tottenham titan can also have an impact in the final third, just like the former West Ham United player, who contributed with six goals and six assists in the league last season. He had ten goals and 10 assists for the Lilywhites last season in the top flight.

Rice is obviously a highly-rated player, as evidenced by his hefty transfer fee, so it would be thrilling if Ten Hag could locate his own version of the 24-year-old for only a small portion of the price.

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