Manchester United: Rasmus Højlund’s paradoxical start to the season


By: Manu Tournoux

With their backs against the wall, Manchester United will play for their European survival this Tuesday. Hosting Bayern Munich, the English club is condemned to victory against the Bavarians while hoping for a draw in the other meeting of the group between Galatasaray and Copenhagen. The Red Devils can even lose everything and finish fourth, a place they occupy before this final day of the group stage. To get through it, Erik ten Hag’s team which is going through a complicated start to the season (6th in the Premier League and already 11 defeats in 23 matches in all competitions) hopes to be able to count on a great Rasmus Højlund. Star recruit of the summer transfer window, the Dane arrived from Atalanta for 75 million euros. In the Champions League, however, he does the job despite the delicate position of his club with 5 goals in 5 matches, which makes him the top scorer in the event for the moment tied with Alvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid) and Erling Haaland (Manchester City).

Quite a funny situation, Rasmus Højlund’s five goals in the competition were scored in the three games lost by the Mancuniens. Still in training, Rasmus Højlund is capable of taking Manchester United to another level. “We are working on the automation at the moment. This will allow him to make better decisions to score even more goals. His goals against Galatasaray were two brilliant goals. Same as that of Munich. I think he is a player who will always be placed in front of goal in our team. I’m sure, I’m convinced that he will score goals and that Marcus Rashford will do the same. explained Erik ten Hag at the end of October. However, if the statistics come in the Champions League and his margin for improvement remains large, the situation is totally different on the national scene. In 14 matches (12 in the Premier League and 2 in the Carabao Cup), he has still not scored, nor even provided an assist (average of 60 minutes played).

Dr. Rasmus and Mr. Højlund

A true Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde of the Mancunian team, Rasmus Højlund is starting to drag behind him a statistic which is getting worse from week to week. Entering at the end of the match against Bournemouth this Saturday, he was unable to reverse the trend during his team’s heavy 3-0 defeat. This also made the controversial journalist Piers Morgan, well known for his closeness with Cristiano Ronaldo, laugh. “Erik Ten Hag chased away the top scorer in history (Cristiano Ronaldo editor’s note) and replaced him with this guy (Rasmus Højlund editor’s note), who hasn’t scored a goal in 12 Premier League matches” he drew on his X account. Consultant for the BBCRory Jennings also pointed out Rasmus Højlund’s breakdown in the championship: “why is no one talking about the fact that Højlund hasn’t scored a goal in the Premier League yet? He’s not even a threat.” However, popular vindictiveness does not affect the Dane for the moment and despite these unflattering statistics, the consultants are rather conciliatory with him.

Former glory of the Red Devils, Paul Scholes notably noted a poor use of the Danish striker who is poorly found by his teammates: “He looks like a center forward who wants crosses. I don’t see Antony centering.” Asked by Betfairformer Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is also confident about his young successor: “I can see that he is making an effort and that he is having some interesting races. He is trying to achieve the goal and he will eventually achieve it. Not yet scoring in the Premier League will play on his mind. My advice would be for Rasmus not to think about it too much. I know it’s very difficult, but just try to eliminate it from your thoughts and focus on the good things you are doing and the effort you are putting in. The goal will come.” Returning to a competition where he stood out well this Tuesday evening against Bayern Munich, Rasmus Højlund will be keen to restart the machine and regain a little confidence. However, the adventure will begin when he unlocks his counter in the Premier League. Manchester United fans will surely be as relieved as him…

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