Erik ten Hag has provided an update on Rasmus Hojlund before Manchester United’s Premier League clash against Nottingham Forest on Saturday (August 26).
The Danish striker joined the Red Devils from Atalanta this summer for £72 million. He was presented on August 5 before his team’s 3-1 pre-season friendly win against RC Lens.
Hojlund, though, is yet to make his debut for the club, as he’s recovering from a back problem. Reports claim that the 20-year-old’s injury is more serious than what Manchester United have disclosed in recent weeks.
However, Ten Hag’s recent comments hint that the former Sturm Graz centre-forward is close to making his first appearance for his new club. At his pre-match presser before the game against Nottingham Forest at Nottingham Forest, the Dutchman said (via Manchester Evening News):
“Not for tomorrow. (He’s) near. Today, for the first time, he came into team training, so next week, we expect him to do a full week of team training, so he is near to the squad.”
Manchester United have started Marcus Rashford in the No. 9 position in both league games this season. However, Raphael Varane’s 76th-minute header in the 1-0 opening-day win against Wolverhampton Wanderers remains the only goal they have scored this term.
Erik ten Hag defends Casemiro after Manchester United struggles
Casemiro, 31, struggled in Manchester United’s league games against Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs midfield duo Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr were notably impressive against the Red Devils, with Casemiro being overrun in midfield. Ten Hag was asked if the Brazilian was fit enough for the games. The Dutchman replied (via the aforementioned source):
“Oh, if you see the numbers, you see he’s fully fit! I have no doubts (about our fitness). They can do it. After 35 minutes against Spurs, they didn’t do it anymore, but after the first game, we were first across the rank of fitness.”
The Brazilian superstar was one of Ten Hag’s most-used players last season, making 51 appearances across competitions. However, he has, at times, seemed to be on the wane, especially when it comes to the physical aspects of his play.
Manchester Evening News say that the Red Devils want to sign a new partner for Casemiro in midfield, but any signings will depend on outings. Currently, £60 million summer signing Mason Mount is out with a hamstring injury while Scott McTominay has stayed at Old Trafford after Kobbie Mainoo’s ankle injury.
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