Man Utd has taken care not to pressure the 20-year-old to return to fitness too quickly, and discussions with the coach of the Danish national team appear to have been fruitful.
This season, Manchester United has already experienced its fair share of injury problems, but last weekend’s debut of Rasmus Hojlund brought some positive news.
Hojlund finally had the opportunity to make an impact on the field almost a month after his £72 million transfer to United and gave Arsenal plenty of trouble in his 23 minutes of cameo time. The stress fracture in the 20-year-old’s back was discovered during medical examinations, and he has been dying to lay down on some grass ever since.
In addition, Erik ten Hag would have been as anxious to see him play, as the Dutchman was still on the lookout for the goals that were so sorely lacking in the previous year. None of the attacking group’s goals were scored in his team’s first three games against Wolves, Tottenham, and Nottingham Forest.
The type of injury, though, might have originated from playing too much in the first place. In order to avoid bringing Hojlund back too soon and making the problem worse in the future, Ten Hag and United had to advise prudence.
Before the first game of the season against the Wolves, Ten Hag remarked of Hojlund, “We are not in a rush. “We don’t rush things because we know that even without him, we have a great team and the position is covered.
“It is important that he is at the proper fitness level, the first level, after which we must integrate him into our training program and bring him in for the games. It is more important to win over the long run than it is to win right now.
Hojlund’s selection for the Danish national team for the international break in September raised some initial questions. He hadn’t played for his new team at all at the time of the announcement, and he was about to leave for the first little campaign break.
But when asked why he chose to play the striker, Kasper Hjulmand, the head coach of Denmark, said that he had been at Carrington and had been in close contact with United. Hojlund was able to travel after those chats because Hjulmand kept his word.
Thursday night’s opening match after the break saw Denmark easily defeat San Marino, 4-0. Hojlund began that match on the bench and entered the game in the final 30 minutes, making his United debut. The youthful striker will continue to improve but cautiously when they play Finland on Sunday.
“Hojlund is probably not ready [to play 90 minutes against Finland],” Hjulmand said on Friday to Bold.dk. So, the decision is whether to deploy him early in the game or later on.
Hojlund only trained for a week before starting the game against Arsenal, therefore he didn’t have a full preseason. As a result, it is not anticipated that he can play for 90 minutes nonstop, so that is something to take into account.
Few would have objected if United had chosen to keep Hojlund at Carrington for the break since they had just spent £72 million on a striker with a back problem. However, it is clear that the discussions between the club and the country were fruitful and that both parties arrived at a compromise that puts the player above all else.
Hojlund will gain from two additional competitive outings as a substitute, and Denmark will undoubtedly appreciate having their young star available for two crucial Euro 2024 qualifying matches. Meanwhile, United will be happy to have a striker returning who is more fit and capable than when he last played.