Manchester United moved pretty quickly by the club’s lackadaisical standards to complete a move for Mason Mount before pre-season.

Mason Mount was the top target for Erik ten Hag, signed for £55 million, and given the club’s prestigious number seven shirt.

After a small two-game sample size before Mount suffered an injury, the immediate question was ‘why?’.

Mount’s arrival had appeared to unsettle Manchester United’s midfield, and added little in attack, with defender Raphael Varane the only scorer during those two matches.

But there was one absolutely key ingredient missing. No centre-forward.

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Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
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Rasmus Hojlund a difference maker

The key issue with United in the opening two games was a lack of focal point. Marcus Rashford is not a centre-forward in the traditional sense, and will not ever be.

Anthony Martial filled in, but again, he offers little impact in terms of traditional centre-forward play. New signing Rasmus Hojlund ‘changed the dynamic‘ when he came off the bench in the clash with Arsenal at The Emirates.

There was one passage of play against Arsenal which showed precisely why Manchester United signed Mason Mount – even if he was stuck back at home watching.

£64 million signing Rasmus Hojlund was a real force, impressing with his hold-up play, and there was one moment where you could see, yes, Mount would play a real role here.

It came when Hojlund chested the ball down, controlled it, and played a pass which ended up with Marcus Rashford. United sent midfield players forward, overloading the Arsenal defence, and Rashford ended up forcing a corner, probably not maximising the opportunity.

This is how Erik ten Hag wants to play. He wants his centre-forward to dominate defenders, work hard, and create space for his surging attackers.

This worked at Ajax where Sebastien Haller was his main man, and created space for Dusan Tadic and Antony, among others, to make an impact in the final third.

Mason Mount can be effective when United have control of the ball high up the pitch, and this will happen more frequently when Rasmus Hojlund is leading the line.

It will be a long season, there is plenty of football left to be played, and Hojlund will help Mount play his best football, and justify his own big money move to Old Trafford.

Hojlund could benefit from Mount’s passing and assists – but it could just as easily be the other way around, with the former Chelsea man profiting from the Dane’s hold-up play.

When Hojlund and Mount will play together

It could be a few weeks. Mason Mount has suffered an injury which has caused him to miss the last two league games. Rasmus Hojlund missed the first three, so they have not played together yet.

Hojlund, fit again, is now waiting on Mount to return to fitness from his thigh injury.

Premier Injuries list Mount’s return date, provisionally, as September 30, a home league game against Crystal Palace. A Champions League game at home to Galatasaray is held a few days later.

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