Man United will not 'rush' Rasmus Hojlund back to fitness – Erik ten … – The Independent

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Erik ten Hag is excited by Rasmus Hojlund’s long-term future and confident Manchester United can cope without the injured new boy during the opening weeks of the season.
Despite a long-term interest in England captain Harry Kane, the Red Devils instead plumped for potential by signing the talented 20-year-old from Atalanta.
Hojlund joined last weekend in a £64million deal that could rise to £72million, but United fans will have to wait to see their new striker.
The frontman is dealing with a back issue and will miss Monday’s Premier League opener against Wolves, along with some other matches, but Ten Hag is confident they will cope.
“We are not in a rush,” the United boss said. “We know we have also without him a strong team and the position is covered, so we don’t rush this.
“It’s about that he’s in the right level. First from the first fitness level and then we have to integrate him, training and then we will bring him in the games, so we take our time.
“It’s not about winning in this moment. It’s about winning on the long term.
“I am quite calm and composed in this situation because Rashy (Marcus Rashford) is very good as a striker. We have seen it last Saturday (against Lens).
“Anthony Martial is available as well. Then we have Jadon Sancho, who did very well in pre-season, so we constructed a squad and can deal with this.
“That is the way. We are not doing things overnight, we constructed the squad and there is a strategy behind it.”
Martial has not played a minute of football in pre-season, but his seemingly impending return is a boost in the absence of Hojlund – a different, much-needed profile of striker for United.
“That’s why we chose him,” Ten Hag said of his Premier League suitability.
“He has the potential – the physicality, his speed, character, hungriness, determination for goals.
“It’s absolutely the right fit, also his age fits very good in the profile, so we are very confident we found the right striker.
“But he needs time, time to integrate and of course now he is not available from the start. It delays the process.”
Hojlund was the third major signing of the summer for United following midfielder Mason Mount’s arrival from Chelsea and goalkeeper Andre Onana joining from Inter Milan.
They were the main areas targeted for improvement, but work is afoot to do more business.
“Managers always want more,” Ten Hag said with a laugh. “I think every manager you ask wants more.
“But it’s more about the mentality, that in top football you have to demand the maximum and because we also do that from our players and the fans expect it from us.
“So, always you look for the perfect situation, but you also know you never get the perfect situation and you have to work on that, maybe not with the perfect situations, but you get the perfect results.”
Departures will be key if there are to be further arrivals, with Fred becoming the latest player to exit on Sunday by completing his switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Harry Maguire could follow after United accepted a £30million offer from West Ham, but Ten Hag said on Friday that “of course” the defender would be available for selection against Wolves.
“We don’t have a squad with 11 players and the last year proved definitely we need all the players,” Ten Hag said. “So that means you need some high-level players who are maybe not now starting, but that can change, so there is an internal competition and everyone has to fight for his place.
“When they were good, they will get their games, but no one can play all the games and finally you find out what is the best team.
“I think in the squad now all the positions are double and every player has the perspective to fight for his place.
“Then you have to show with your contribution it’s the best team performance, so it’s up to the players if they have game time or less.”
Asked what the best scenario for Maguire was, Ten Hag added: “For Harry, it’s my explanation I just gave. That’s just how I described it.
“He has to fight for his place. He has the abilities to be a top-class centre-back.
“He is the best for England, so why shouldn’t he be the best for us? But he has to prove it.
“When he is not confident enough to go in that fight then he has to go, then he has to make the decision but I’m happy with him.”
PA Wire
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Originally posted 2023-08-15 09:31:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter