HomeNewsOverlook Kane or Haaland. Højlund exhibits Man Utd's new technique Receive US

Overlook Kane or Haaland. Højlund exhibits Man Utd’s new technique Receive US

It was as way back as January that Manchester United knew that Harry Kane wouldn’t be the answer to their decade-long seek for a dependable centre ahead, however even inside Previous Trafford, there’s an acceptance that the membership has taken a high-stakes gamble on 20-year-old Denmark worldwide Rasmus Højlund being the reply to their issues.

However in keeping with ESPN sources, it’s a threat that United knew they needed to take. Højlund, whose £64 million switch charge from Atalanta might rise to £72m primarily based on performance-related clauses within the deal, is promising however uncooked, supremely assured but untested on the highest degree.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)

And together with his towering physique and shock of blonde hair, and place as the focus of United’s attacking plans, Højlund will be unable to flee immediate comparisons with Manchester Metropolis’s purpose machine, Erling Haaland.

But the logic behind United’s choice to signal Højlund, in keeping with ESPN sources, is that the membership needed to press the reset button on a flawed recruitment coverage that had resulted in a succession of pricy errors since their final profitable centre-forward signing — Robin van Persie from Arsenal in 2012.

Since Van Persie arrived to assist clinch United’s most up-to-date Premier League title with 26 objectives within the 2012-13 season, the membership has lurched from one dangerous signing to a different within the attacking division.

Radamel Falcao, Odion Ighalo, Edinson Cavani, and Wout Weghorst have been and gone on mortgage having made little or no affect, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez proved to be large names unable to dwell as much as their reputations in a United shirt, whereas Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo introduced objectives in respectable numbers, but additionally large egos which did nothing to spice up squad morale or supply a pathway to the longer term.

Anthony Martial, in the meantime, has spent eight years at Previous Trafford with the jury nonetheless out on whether or not he’s a centre ahead or a participant extra comfy out extensive, with out the strain that comes with being the person within the center.

With supervisor Erik ten Hag making it clear to soccer director John Murtough {that a} striker was an absolute precedence on this summer time’s recruitment plans, a method was drawn up with United’s scouting workforce to search out the answer and at last purchase a dependable purpose scorer.

Sources have informed ESPN that Kane was shortly dominated out for 2 causes. Firstly, United had no urge for food for a summer-long switch saga with Tottenham Hotspur — studies have mentioned that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has now flown off on vacation regardless of Bayern Munich wanting to complete a deal for Kane — that will have reached deadline day with no decision.

The second issue was Ten Hag’s dedication to discover a striker who would press energetically and be his workforce’s first line of defence. As prolific as Kane has been for Spurs, he’s not recognized for his tenacity and persistence when urgent defenders, so he didn’t match the profile Ten Hag had recognized.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen was thought of, however even earlier than membership president Aurelio De Laurentiis made it clear that the Nigeria worldwide would stay with the Italian champions, United felt he was not the answer. One supply informed ESPN that Lukaku’s disastrous time at Chelsea after returning to England following a productive two years with Internazionale had made the membership cautious of utilizing objectives in Serie A as an correct gauge of a striker’s potential.

The rapid counter to that argument can be to query the choice to signal Højlund, who scored simply 9 objectives in Serie A for Atalanta final season. It’s a query additionally being requested inside scouting circles, with one Premier League scout telling ESPN that, whereas Højlund generated glowing studies throughout his transient stint in Austria with Sturm Graz in 2022, the view amongst many inside that fraternity is that the participant remains to be not prepared for England’s high flight, and least of all that strain that comes with being United’s No. 9.

Others see it barely in another way, concerning Højlund as a “tough diamond” whose performances within the second half of final season confirmed a speedy price of development, similtaneously highlighting flaws — poor management, sloppy layoffs — that Ten Hag and his coach should work on.

United noticed sufficient in Højlund at Atalanta, having beforehand famous his emergence at FC Copenhagen and Sturm Graz, to consider that he can, and can, turn into considered one of Europe’s high strikers.

Sources have mentioned that United additionally settle for they don’t seem to be signing the completed product in Højlund and that, in a really perfect situation, he would have been left to develop for an additional yr with Atalanta.

However with one United supply telling ESPN that “we do not have a secret field with strikers that no person else is aware of about,” the selection was clear. They both throw large cash at an ageing participant not suited to Ten Hag’s fashion — i.e., Kane — or go towards their judgement to aim a headline-grabbing signing corresponding to Osimhen.

Or they determine to skip a era and attempt to determine the following large factor, regardless of the plain dangers concerned. By signing Højlund, United have achieved simply that. Having spent too lengthy losing fortunes on strikers who’ve loved their finest days elsewhere, the transfer for Hojlund is an try to again potential within the perception that United can profit from his finest days, moderately than watch him doing it for any individual else.

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