Erik ten Hag Admits Man United Signed Rasmus Hojlund Because They Missed Out on No.1 Target

Erik ten Hag Admits Man United Signed Rasmus Hojlund Because They Missed Out on No.1 Target

Rene Otinga
updated at May 3, 2024 at 10:10 AM
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  • Erik ten Hag has admitted that Rasmus Hojlund was not his first choice for a striker
  • Hojlund was signed for £72m by the Red Devils from Atalanta in the summer of 2023
  • United have spent over £400m under Ten Hag's management across two summers

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Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag, has admitted the club brought in Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund because they were unable to land Harry Kane.

Hojlund, 21, joined United from Atalanta for £72m last summer. Despite a slow start to life at Old Trafford in the first few months, his form eventually peaked.

Rasmus Hojlund Signing, Erik ten Hag, Man United, Harry Kane, Premier League.
Erik ten Hag admitted Rasmus Hojlund was not his number one target for a striker at Manchester United. Photo: Photo by Maja Hitij.
Source: Getty Images

The striker has scored eight goals in 26 appearances, and is second behind Bruno Fernandes in United’s top scorers this season, according to BBC.

While there is no denying Hojlund’s potential, Ten Hag admitted in a recent interview with Gary Neville that the former Atalanta man was not his first pick. That position belongs to Harry Kane.

United were reportedly keen on landing the Englishman from Tottenham Hotspur, but ultimately failed in their attempt as Kane secured a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in Germany instead.

“We have had some choices made with talents like Rasmus Hojlund,” Ten Hag said, per Sky Sports. “I can see a striker who already proved it, who we want to sign and we couldn't get him. And then we went to Rasmus because he's a talent,”

Asked whether he was referring to Harry Kane, the 54-year-old added:

"Yes, and you know Harry Kane will get you 30 goals. I think Rasmus will get there, but he needs time. It's not fair to assess him the same as Harry Kane. I would never compare two players because they are very different.
"But with Hojlund, I think we had the biggest potential in the striker position last summer and we are very happy with him. But he also needs time to adapt and we are very pleased he showed his assets in scoring goals.”

Ten Hag fighting for his job

Since taking charge of United in 2022, Ten Hag has spent more than £400m in signings, without much success to show.

This has put him under intense scrutiny, and he is currently fighting for his job, trying to impress under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new sporting and recruitment regime.

The club lies in sixth position on the log this season, with no hope of Champions League qualification.

Ten Hag will hope his side has a strong finish to the campaign so they can at least qualify for the Europa Conference League playoffs.

Despite a relatively poor season, the Red Devils still have a chance to win silverware. They will face familiar rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

Ten Hag responds to Man United transfer rumours

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Ten Hag’s fierce response to rumours that the club is putting all underperforming players up for sale in the summer.

Recent reports from The Telegraph suggested only three Manchester United players — Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, and Rasmus Hojlund — were safe from the chopping block.

But Ten Hag dismissed the rumours, labelling them as a joke. The Man United boss also wondered why the club was always targeted by sensational transfer reports.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and