Manchester United have agreed a deal for a new striker with 20 year old Danish international Rasmus Hojlund heading to Old Trafford. The young forward moves from Atalanta for a fee of around €85m.
His arrival marks the end of a lengthy pursuit of a new striker to spearhead Manchester United’s attack this season. Despite his age, Hojlund has already played for three clubs in three different countries with spells at FC Copenhagen and Sturm Graz prior to spending last season in Serie A where he netted 9 goals in 32 appearances.
It’s a meteoric rise for Hojlund who cost Sturm Graz less than €2m only eighteen months ago before a €17.2m switch to Italy in August 2022. However it’s clear that he will be central to Erik ten Hag’s plans and depending on departures, Hojlund could be rewarded with an important shirt number.
Rasmus Hojlund’s previous numbers
The Danish forward has worn different numbers at each of his previous three clubs. In Copenhagen, he was only a teenaged academy prospect when he first broke into the senior side, wearing the number 28 shirt during his time in the Danish Superliga.
A move to Austria brought with it a more coveted shirt number as he became Sturm Graz’s number 9 after moving to the Austrian club in January 2022. It would only prove a very short stay though with Hojlund’s progress so great that he was quickly on the move again after only half a season.
At Atalanta, the number 9 jersey was occupied by Colombian forward Luis Muriel. That meant Hojlund was given the number 17 and it does appear to be one of Hojlund’s favoured numbers given he also wore it as an academy player in Copenhagen.
What number could he wear at Old Trafford?
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) July 29, 2023
The number 9 jersey at Manchester United is currently taken up by Anthony Martial. Although the Frenchman has been linked with a move away, reports suggest United may be willing to keep the experienced forward and use him in a back-up capacity this season. They may also be reluctant to burden Hojlund, who will already have pressure on his young shoulders given the size of the fee, with such an iconic number.
The number 17 is also occupied though with long-serving midfielder Fred currently in possession of that jersey. The likes of Galatasaray and Lazio are believed to be keen on signing the Brazilian which could allow Hojlund to keep his Atalanta number.
With only a fortnight to go until Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Wolves though, unless Fred’s departure is sealed quickly, Hojlund could be given a different number. There are limited options given the size of United’s squad with 15 the lowest double-digit option that is currently vacant, with the exception of the unlucky number 13.