Manchester United’s Hojlund: A Hint of Van Nistelrooy Magic?
United’s new prodigy earns high praise.
Rasmus Hojlund, Manchester United’s fresh acquisition, has shown glimpses of sheer genius that resonates with the echoes of the legendary Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Despite United’s 3-2 fall to Galatasaray in their recent Champions League clash, Hojlund managed to capture attention, even in defeat.
The Rising Dane Star
Snapped up from Atalanta for a staggering €75 million this summer, Hojlund didn’t take long to make an impact. In this Champions League fixture, his dual strikes caught the eye of many. The first, an elegant header, took flight from a Marcus Rashford delivery. The second, an impressive journey from the halfway line, culminating with a perfectly weighted chip over Fernando Muslera. Notably, this followed a significant effort against Bayern Munich earlier this season.
Echoes of a Legend
Paul Scholes, reflecting upon the match as a pundit for TNT Sport alongside Rio Ferdinand, couldn’t help but draw parallels between Hojlund and the iconic Van Nistelrooy.
“When United lose a big game like this – one they had to win – you’re normally really disappointed. But I saw enough in the team that excited me,” Scholes revealed. “Hojlund especially, he took his two goals brilliantly. I absolutely loved his second goal. The way he outpaced the defence and finished, I thought: ‘Wow, there’s a bit of Van Nistelrooy in there’, and it really excited me.”
A Mixed Performance Night
Beyond Hojlund, other players earned Scholes’ comments. “Mason Mount, I thought he did well, but he just needs a goal,” he noted. While recognising the shortcomings of “[Sofyan] Amrabat, [Victor] Lindelof and [Raphael] Varane”, Scholes was critical of the overall team performance. Erik ten Hag’s squad has now suffered their second consecutive Champions League loss, making it their sixth defeat in 10 games this season.
The Onana Debate
Andre Onana’s summer signing from Inter Milan for €52.5m has faced criticism. His involvement in Casemiro’s red card and Galatasaray’s winning goal have been points of contention. Scholes voiced his concerns regarding Onana’s decisions in Mauro Icardi’s decisive goal. “I don’t think the goalkeeper does well,” Scholes acknowledged on TNT Sports. “The ball is right in front of Icardi’s feet. All he had to do was stand his ground. Instead, for some reason, he just dived out of the way.”
In the light of the evening, the promise of Hojlund and the critiques that surround the team, Manchester United finds themselves at a critical juncture this season. Only time will reveal if they rise to the occasion.