Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has spoken on Rasmus Hojlund’s move to Manchester United and detailed a plan for the forward in the national team.
It was a delayed start to life on the pitch at United for the striker after a small back problem was found during his medical tests.
The problem, which United dealt with carefully, meant that Hojlund missed the opening three games of the Premier League season.
Yet, his national team manager Hjulmand stated that his forward looked sharp during two United training sessions that he saw last week, as well as in the game against The Gunners.
“I was over there a week ago, where I saw two training sessions, and I saw the Rasmus I know,” said Hjulmand. “He has never felt anything. So they have been very conservative and cautious with him.
“But he looks like himself, and I think his debut was convincing. He started by smashing into a centre-back and he made his mark on the game in the minutes he played. There were 15 minutes of overtime, so he got a little more than they had expected.”
Hjulmand was at Carrington to meet with both Hojlund and Denmark captain Christian Eriksen.
United are keen allow international coaches to come to the training ground to engage with their players during periods of the season.
UtdDistrict understands that Hjulmand’s visit involved discussions about what was best for Hojlund heading into the international break with Denmark.
Denmark have two upcoming European qualifying matches against San Marino and Finland and those games will provide Hojlund the opportunity to build match fitness ahead of his United return. However, Hjulmand has confirmed that the forward won’t start and finish both games.
“He looked fine and he is in good shape. There aren’t twice 90 minutes for him, but we have a plan for how we can get the most out of him.”
United will be thankful that Denmark are also taking a delicate approach with Hojlund being out of competitive action for several months, baring his debut cameo, and the national side have two clear plans to aid the 20-year-old.
Firstly, the manager confirmed that his growing status from becoming a Manchester United player will not have an impact on his decision-making when selecting his team.
“No, he must come, as he always has,” he stated. “There are also some who have asked how it will be to receive him as a Manchester United player, and it will be in exactly the same way as before.
“There is no difference whether he plays in one place or the other. He must come in as he usually does. The cool thing about him is that he is himself and he loves to play. He is very extroverted, and he fills up something, so it goes without saying that there is no difference.”
This will be sure to keep Hojlund on his toes and not show any complacency. United fans have become frustrated at Harry Maguire’s permanent status in the England squad under Gareth Southgate despite club form and that could’ve had an impact on a deal to West Ham collapsing in the summer.
United have also historically been cautious with young players in the media. Erik ten Hag ensured that Kobbie Mainoo was not part of a commercial day during the pre-season tour in the summer.
Of course, Hojlund is an expensive signing and slightly older so will likely be facing the cameras on occasion, but Hjulmand seems to share the sentiment of the Old Trafford club.
“I’ll probably shield him a bit from you (the press), and we follow the plan that means we get the most out of him in the two games.”
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