Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund came off the bench as Denmark eased to victory over San Marino.
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand said earlier this week that he saw no indication of a supposed back injury that kept Rasmus Hojlund out of Manchester United’s opening three games of the season.
However, he did pledge to manage the striker’s minutes carefully, and only introduced him after 58 minutes against San Marino, when Denmark were already 3-0 up.
Upcoming is a bigger game against Finland, who lead Denmark by two points in the group. Hojlund struck a hat-trick against them last time. But there is no guarantee the Manchester United striker is selected.
Hjulmund on Hojlund
Kasper Hjulmand told Bold.dk that Hojlund is in consideration to start the game on Sunday, however, he questions whether he can play all 90 minutes.
Stand-in striker Jonas Wind scored one goal and provided one assist last night, so there is not an urgency on Denmark’s part to rush Hojlund.
Hjulmand explained, when asked about Hojlund and defender Andreas Christensen’s availability against Finland: “They are both in the game for it. AC is definitely ready for 90 minutes, while Hojlund is probably not. Therefore, the question is whether we should bring him from the start or later.
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“We also have to consider it, in relation to whether we should perhaps have two attackers inside at the same time.”
Elaborating more on Hojlund’s fitness, Hjulman added that he is unsure if he can rely on the Manchester United man, and would not compromise his game plan.
He said: “Hojlund hasn’t had a full preseason, and he only trained for a week before he got a call against Arsenal. So it is not expected that he can play 90 minutes at full steam, and therefore there are considerations about that, but they are both in play for a starting place
“If you have to be fit to start, then you have to be able to have an hour in you, because otherwise I won’t do it. Now we go home and look at everything, and then we have to see if the plan can be executed.”
Rest better for Manchester United
It is a tricky dilemma for Manchester United to watch too. On one hand, yes it is better if Rasmus Hojlund starts, and gets more minutes, and even a goal or two under his belt.
But really, the risk is one we would prefer Denmark would not take at all. We would be quite content if Hojlund sits on the bench for the whole 90 minutes against Finland.
Manchester United need to bounce back in upcoming matches, starting with next week at home to Brighton, before a Champions League trip to Bayern Munich. We need Hojlund healthy ready to start both games.