Gary Neville rates Rasmus Hojlund’s Manchester United debut and admits he has a problem

Manchester United player Rasmus Hojlund
Rasmus Hojlund looked bright on his Manchester United debut on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Gary Neville enjoyed Rasmus Hojlund’s ‘encouraging’ first performance for Manchester United, but admits that the new arrival has a problem with the pressure that rests on his inexperienced shoulders.

The 20-year-old, a summer signing from Atalanta, finally got on the pitch for the Red Devils after overcoming a back problem he was suffering when he arrived in England.

Ultimately it was far from a dream debut as he came off the bench at Arsenal with the score at 1-1 and Manchester United went on to lose the game 3-1 thanks to injury time goals from Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus.

However, the young Dane looked bright and certainly brought something different to United’s front three, which Neville appreciated, but has urged caution.

The Denmark international arrives with lofty expectations, but with less than 100 first team appearances under his belt, most of which came for Sturm Graz and FC Copenhagen, he is bound to need plenty of time to adapt.

Manchester United haven’t had a striker that they can hit. That’s the problem,’ Neville told Sky Sports. ‘Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t a classic targetman, [Anthony] Martial’s certainly not, [Marcus] Rashford’s not. At least they’ve got someone who looks he’ll mess people around and get his body in there. He’s aggressive, and he’s a runner.

Hojlund replaced Anthony Martial in the second half in north London (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The thing for him is he’s learning the game still. He’s only played a couple of seasons of top level football and we’re expected him to be Erling Haaland. That’s the problem.

‘Manchester United haven’t got anyone else with experience to back him up. We’ve been watching Martial for 9-10 years at Manchester United and he’s not what Erik ten Hag wants. This lad, lot of pressure on him, big price tag, but it was an encouraging start.’

United boss Ten Hag praised Hojlund for his debut performance, but also said he enjoyed Martial’s display, which was really not that memorable.

‘I think he played very good but I also think Martial had a good performance,’ said Ten Hag. ‘I think Rasmus Hojlund had a very good impact on the game.’

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MORE : Erik ten Hag singles out Anthony Martial for praise after Manchester United lose at Arsenal

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