Rio Ferdinand believes that Rasmus Hojlund needs to develop the characteristics of a former Manchester United legendary striker.
During his last 160 minutes on the pitch in the league, the striker has had no chances created for him, despite making positive runs throughout games. Players just aren’t finding him.
Despite Marcus Rashford’s poor start so far this term, the England international appears to be the only player on a wavelength with Hojlund so far, assisting two of his three goals.
Ferdinand believes that the team are not currently playing to the no.11’s strengths and that the wingers must adopt an alternative threat other than cutting inside to try and create something themselves, which delays the attack.
“We’re not seeing the best out of him and his best attributes are not being seen because the team aren’t playing to his strengths,” he said on TNT Sports after United’s 1-0 win against Fulham.
“I see too many times that they [wingers] get wide and the quality is nowhere near good enough.
“Antony doesn’t really want to cross it, his first instinct is to see what he can do for himself. Marcus is more of a striker and wants to get on the end of things himself, so his second thought is to cross.
“So when he [Hojlund] is making his movements, the ball is being delayed and not coming into the areas. The sooner they get the ball in the box to this guy, he makes good runs. Play to his strengths.”
Erik ten Hag should be looking at trying to adjust to get the most out of Hojlund, however, Ferdinand also hopes that the young striker can develop the authority at Old Trafford to eventually order players to deliver the ball to him.
The ex-defender gave a comparison to his former teammate at Old Trafford, Ruud van Nistelrooy, who he said would demand so much from his teammates that some would have resorted to tears.
“But he hasn’t had the time enough here, or he isn’t old enough yet or experienced enough to grab a few people and say ‘listen, you get the ball into me otherwise I’ll come in at half-time and you’ll feel the wrath’, he’s not got that yet, we don’t expect that yet,” added Ferdinand.
“Ruud van Nistelrooy, you didn’t cross the ball to him… I’ve seen players resorted to tears because of the way he demands of them, I hope Hojlund gets to the point of demanding like that.”
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