Who is Rasmus Hojlund? The Atalanta wonderkid Man Utd, Arsenal and Real Madrid want

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 21 Apr 2023 22:22 BST
  • 9 min read
Rasmus Hojlund, Atalanta, 2022/23
© ProShots

Atalanta youngster Rasmus Hojlund is being eyed up as a potential long-term solution for the No.9 position at a string of leading clubs, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid all tipped to make a summer transfer move for the attacker.

Hojlund has won favourable comparisons with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, and even if he lacks the explosive scoring power that the Norway international has shown throughout his career, the signs are that he is developing it with both club and country.

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In particular, the 20-year-old impressed with Denmark in their opening Euro 2024 qualifying matches, scoring a hat-trick against Finland before following that up with a first-half double against Kazakhstan. This cemented his position as a player to watch for Europe's leading sides.

MORE: Rasmus Hojlund: The €50m bargain justifying Haaland hype

What position does Hojlund play in?

Hojlund is every inch a No.9, one who can act as lone striker or in tandem with a smaller man, as he often does with Ademola Lookman at Atalanta.

He is a mobile striker, who likes to get in half spaces and dribble his way into dangerous areas, but unlikely Haaland is not player who typically gets involved in many physical duels.

How good is Hojlund?

Hojlund is a hulking 6'4"-tall, left-footed, Scandinavian striker, making comparisons with Haaland irresistible, but he is an impressive player in his own right.

He broke through at hometown club FC Copenhagen in 2020 after scoring 15 goals in 22 games for the under-19s when still just 17, and was quickly picked up by Sturm Graz, who paid €1.8 million for his services in January 2022.

Twelve goals and four assists in 21 games later and he was picked up by Atalanta for €17m at the start of this season, where he is up to five goals and two assists for the current campaign.

Hojlund was handed his full Denmark debut in September, and was part of the team that beat then-world champions France 2-0 in the UEFA Nations League.

He exploded at Atalanta in 2023, going on a hot streak at the turn of the year. This included a landmark game against Lazio in a 2-0 win in Rome during which he destroyed the home defence.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini could not hide his excitement about Hojlund after Atalanta’s win at Lazio.

“Hojlund has this spirit, energy, intensity, but also technical quality that is just remarkable,” Gasperini said.

“He still has so much margin for improvement, too.

“He has very similar characteristics to Haaland, not just his face.

“He is so quick, he’s under 11 seconds over 100m and that’s not even trying very hard.

“Considering his height, he has a low centre of gravity and can move his legs very fast. I am convinced he’ll have a great career, he just gets stronger every day.”

In his debut Serie A season, he has performed among the best strikers in the division, as the below graphic illustrates and has seen his Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) rise to €19.5 million.

-+ Rasmus Højlund

What clubs are interested in Hojlund?

Manchester United presently appear to be the club leading the way for Hojlund, but any deal is not likely to come about quickly. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, Hojlund does not have an agent. it is likely that he will want to get one in place before making any big decision about his future.

Secondly, there are many clubs following his progress, with Arsenal and Newcastle also linked from the Premier League.

Real Madrid have been associated with a move for Hojlund as a replacement for Karim Benzema as their No.9, but there is increasing interest from the Premier League.

In Serie A, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter and Napoli have all been credited with an interest in Hojlund, with his club career now progressing at an astronomical rate.

Hojlund has said he favours a move to Man Utd but will not rule out other big teams.

Meanwhile, it is worth bearing in mind that there is no guarantee that he will leave in the summer of 2023.

When does Hojlund's contract expire?

Hojlund's current contract at the Gewiss Stadium runs until 30 June 2027.

How old is Hojlund?

Born on 4 February 2003, Hojlund is still just 20 years old at the time of writing.

What is Hojlund's Instagram?

Hojlund's Instagram can be found under the handle rasmus.hoejlund. He has 133k followers as of April 2023, up from 64.9k in January.

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