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Rasmus Hojlund names former Man United player as toughest defender he’s faced



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Credit: IMAGO / Bildbyran

Rasmus Hojlund is on the verge of completing a move to Manchester United, the club he has supported his entire life.

The 20-year-old centre-forward is waiting for documents to be completed before flying to Manchester to undergo a medical at the Carrington training complex after United agreed a fee with Atalanta for the transfer of the Dane.

Hojlund had a successful debut season in the Serie A, scoring nine goals and registering an additional two assists.

“Now that you ask, I won’t hide the fact that I’m a huge Manchester United fan,” he told Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet in January. “So personally, it’d be one of the biggest things for me.”

Moving to the Premier League and playing at Old Trafford will provide major hurdles for the striker to overcome. However, one thing that Italy has always offered is tough defenders to play against.

Hojlund is already used to playing against tough defenders, although he has admitted that former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who now plays for AS Roma, was a difficult matchup for him.

“Chris Smalling from Roma gave me the biggest problems,” he explained in an interview with Tuttosport.

“He’s an intelligent, agile, fast, physically strong defender. I tried to win duels with him by using my physical strength, but it wasn’t the winning move. I still have to find the right key to overcome it.”

Smalling played 323 times for United between 2010 and 2020. He left for the Serie A side on loan initially in the summer of 2019 before leaving on a permanent deal the following year.

Hojlund will plug an important hole in the team at Old Trafford, who have been operating without a centre-forward during pre-season so far. Jadon Sancho has often been played centrally in a false-nine role.

Anthony Martial travelled with the squad to the United States but was not involved in any of the four games that they played. He is back in team training following suffering injury at the back-end of last season but Erik ten Hag is taking caution with his return.