Three ways Manchester United could line up with Rasmus Hojlund

Three ways Manchester United could line up with Rasmus Hojlund

Manchester United has found a potential solution to their center-forward issue in the form of Rasmus Hojlund. The club has reached an agreement with Atalanta for a transfer fee of £64m, which could increase to £72m based on his performance in the future. Despite the hefty price, the move reflects United’s willingness to take a chance on young talents, as evidenced by Erik ten Hag’s track record of trusting in such players.

With just over two weeks left before the start of the 2023/24 campaign, Manchester United appears poised to secure the much-needed center-forward they’ve been seeking. Hojlund, who scored an impressive 16 goals during his time in Italy last season, will likely step in as the team’s main striker.

In the ongoing transfer window, Hojlund would be the third signing for Manchester United, following Andre Onana and Mason Mount. Onana has been confirmed as the club’s new first-choice goalkeeper. Additionally, hints from Ten Hag during pre-season indicate the defensive lineup he plans to deploy in the upcoming season.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has started in every match he’s been eligible for as the right-back, while Luke Shaw has been playing on the opposite side. Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have consistently held the center-back positions and are not expected to be changed unless due to injury or illness.

Considering this is likely to be the projected defensive setup for the upcoming season, let’s explore how the rest of the team might be organized with Hojlund’s involvement.

The likeliest line-up

In the midfield, Casemiro and Mount could be potential starters, with newly appointed captain Bruno Fernandes supporting the attack. Antony, for whom Ten Hag invested £85m last year, is expected to retain his place in the team.

As for the forward positions, Marcus Rashford excels on the left side and would be given the opportunity to play there, while Hojlund takes up the center-forward role. 

Rashford, who impressively scored 30 goals in the previous season, demonstrated during the match against Real Madrid that he may face difficulties when playing as a center-forward, which is why a role on the left wing suits him better.

The back-up XI

If Antony is unavailable, Jadon Sancho would be the most probable replacement on the right-wing. During pre-season, the English international has occasionally been deployed as a false nine and has even scored in that position against Arsenal.

However, with Hojlund occupying the center-forward position, it is unlikely that Sancho will be used as a false nine. Additionally, Alejandro Garnacho seems to be primarily suited for the left-wing role, leaving Sancho as the backup option on the right. Despite some lackluster performances last season, Ten Hag has shown confidence in Sancho and is willing to give him opportunities to prove his abilities.

The alternative team

Against Madrid, Bruno Fernandes was deployed on the right-wing, and Ten Hag sometimes persisted with this tactic, even though the captain was less effective in that position. If such a situation arises during the regular season, Christian Eriksen could be brought in as a replacement, with Mount being pushed slightly further forward to support the attack.

Unfortunately, Facundo Pellistri is expected to be loaned out, so he won’t be available for the team this season. Nevertheless, with Hojlund in the squad, the team can expect to provide him with excellent service to maximize his goal-scoring potential.

Three ways Manchester United could line up with Rasmus Hojlund

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