Rasmus Hojlund was unveiled at Old Trafford to the loyal Manchester United fans in attendance ahead of their pre-season fixture against FC Lens on Saturday.
The young striker has completed his move to Manchester from Atalanta in a deal worth somewhere in the region of £70 million. We take a look at how the young Dane has become one the most expensive signings in United’s history at just the age of 20.
Rasmus Winther Hojlund was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in February, 2003. He inherited the passion for football from his father, Anders, a retired professional footballer. His father claims that Rasmus was younger than 2 years old when he was kicking footballs larger than him.
His parents recognised his superior athletic abilities and encouraged him to partake in many activities. Alongside football, he also played Tennis and was a gifted swimmer. But as early as just 4, he had started to focus on football and was part of local club Horsholm-Usserod’s academy.
He then transferred to Brondby IF at the age of 12 and his talent was recognised at a national level for the first time. Denmark’s biggest club, FC Copenhagen showed interest in the teenager and signed him within a year.
After being out on loan, he joined up with Copenhagen’s academy ahead of the 2017/18 season and rose through the ranks to become one of the brightest talents in the club’s youth setup. He went on to make his professional debut in October 2020 at just age 17. Rasmus’ brothers, Oscar and Emil were also playing at the club’s youth academy.
After lack of game time was hurting his development, the striker decided to move to Austrian club Sturm Graz in January of 2022 and shook up the league scoring 12 games in 21 games across all competitions. His performances attracted Italian club Atalanta’s attention as they signed him in the summer of 2022 for €17 million.
After joining, the youngster would feature only off the bench but impressed the manager enough to get more and more game time. Duvan Zapata’s poor form and injury problems paved the way for Hojlund to feature regularly in the first-team.
Rasmus was called up by his national side for the first time in September 2022 and subsequently made his debut against Croatia in the UEFA Nations League. He made his first start for Denmark in the UEFA Euro qualifiers against Finland and marked the occasion with an impressive hattrick. He is currently the leading goal-scorer in the qualifiers.
The 20-year-old was fairly unknown by many fans worldwide though until British giants Manchester United showed interest in the youngster. He never hid his love and passion for United and club legend Cristiano Ronaldo growing up and those close to him always described Old Trafford as the dream destination for the young Dane.
He will now get to realise his dream at the aptly nicknamed Theatre of Dreams. It will not be easy though as many promising youngsters have come and failed to shine at United but no one is denying the exciting nature of this deal. It remains to be seen if Rasmus can live up to his potential and prove the doubters wrong.
But Hojlund is most likely to see this as an opportunity to score goals and win games for the club he most adores and perhaps will be hoping to turn into the next big star in the famous red shirt.