Former Denmark international Morten Bruun believes the ‘worst possible scenario’ for Rasmus Hojlund at Manchester United would be Marcus Rashford establishing himself as Erik ten Hag’s first-choice centre-forward.

Now, Manchester United did not sign a £64 million striker from Atalanta while planning to superglue his backside to the Old Trafford bench.

But the fact remains that, if Antony, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho – potentially even Facundo Pellistri too – can build on impressive pre-season performances, that will only increase the possibility of Rasmus Hojlund finding himself in a direct battle with last season’s 30-goal top scorer for the centre-forward role.

A fight Hojlund, Bruun believes, is destined to lose.

Manchester United v RC Lens - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Rasmus Hojlund facing big competition at Manchester United

“A lot depends on Marcus Rashford. In my opinion, (Rashford) is the best player at United,” Bruun tells TV2.

“Rashford will presumably and hopefully play on the left wing. Because, in a direct duel with him for the spot as spearhead, Hojlund will lose. 

“The big threat comes from the wide players, who can press so hard that ten Hag chooses to play with Rashford right up front. And here there are a couple of really good players, besides Antony.

“One is England international Mason Mount. Mount is not a decidedly winger, but he can operate well from the flank. There is also Jadon Sancho.

“He started in the biggest game of last season; the FA Cup final against Manchester City. This meant that Rashford was moved all the way forward. This is the worst possible scenario for Rasmus Hojlund.”

Difficult decisions for Ten Hag

Bruun insists that Mason Greenwood could also be a ‘factor’ for Ten Hag to consider if he is welcomed back into the first-team fold. On the other hand, if Hojlund can make an immediate splash at Old Trafford and show exactly why Ten Hag believes he is a goal-getter of truly elite potential, then he will quickly put himself into the ‘undroppable’ category.

“First and foremost, it is of course about Hojlund himself. Does he have the mentality, technique and physique? Can he transfer his scoring prowess from Bergamo to Manchester? Can he handle the pressure?,” Bruun wonders.

“There is reason to believe that the confident young Dane can do that. They also believe that at Manchester United. Otherwise, they would not have invested so much money.”

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