Hojlund gets Van Dijk encouragement as Liverpool star talks up Man Utd striker

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 13 Jan 2024 10:35 GMT
  • 3 min read
Rasmus Hojlund, Virgil van Dijk, 2023/24
© ProShots

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has talked up under-fire Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund, hinting of his belief that the Red Devils’ summer signing will ultimately come good.

Hojlund arrived at Old Trafford from Atalanta in the summer for a hefty fee of €74 million and has struggled to live up to that billing.

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Man Utd’s main centre forward this season, he has managed just a single Premier League goal against Aston Villa, and though he fired impressively in the Champions League, it did not prevent the surprise exit of Erik ten Hag’s side.

But while the 20-year-old was unable to score in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool, Van Dijk was impressed by what he saw of the Norway international.

“Recently, I was marking Rasmus Hojlund. He is young, still learning, but is already very strong with the ball, very fast,” Van Dijk told France Football.

“What I like about the highest level is being able to face new players, being able to face new challenges in each match.”

Van Dijk names Giroud as toughest opponent

Virgil van Dijk
© ProShots - Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk has faced all of the world’s greatest forwards over the course of his career at the top level, whether in the Premier League, Champions League or international football, and he believes that former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is the toughest player he has faced.

“I think I'm going to stick with Olivier Giroud. Every time, it seems like you're holding him, marking him well, but he always manages to score in one way or another with his head, his foot, his knee. He often scored against me,” he smiled.

“Afterwards, I must not forget Sergio Aguero, who was very strong, Erling Haaland obviously, Gabriel Jesus too. All of them make your matches very difficult.”

Liverpool and Van Dijk are in the midst of their winter break and will not be back in action until next week when they face Bournemouth in the Premier League.

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