Man Utd can’t count on brotherly love in Copenhagen reunion.
Manchester United can’t afford sentimentality in their encounter with Rasmus Hojlund as he faces his younger twin brothers and his former club, FC Copenhagen, at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The Red Devils are in desperate need of a victory to keep their Champions League hopes alive, and this game is sure to be emotionally charged following the recent passing of club legend Bobby Charlton.
Charlton, arguably one of the greatest players in the club’s history, passed away at the age of 86, with tributes planned for the man who scored 249 goals in 758 games for United.
This emotional backdrop sets the stage for an important match, as Erik ten Hag’s side aims to recover from their first-ever back-to-back losses in the Champions League group stage.
Hojlund has been a shining light in these defeats, scoring three times in his first two Champions League appearances since his £64 million move from Atalanta in August.
This meteoric rise contrasts with his earlier sale for just £1.7 million to Sturm Graz by Copenhagen in January last year, a move that his father criticized due to the limited game time he received at the Danish champions.
However, two more members of the Hojlund family remain at Copenhagen, with 18-year-old twins Emil and Oscar looking to follow in their older brother’s footsteps.
Midfielder Oscar is expected to be included in the visitors’ squad, having already made his Champions League debut against Galatasaray. Meanwhile, Emil, a physical forward like his older sibling, awaits his opportunity after featuring regularly for the under-19s.
Despite arriving in Manchester as a promising talent who acknowledges he has “a lot to learn,” United is relying on Hojlund to rejuvenate their struggling season.
Apart from the holding midfielder Casemiro, no one in the team has scored more goals than Hojlund’s three this season, as the rest of the forward line has faltered.
Marcus Rashford has only managed to score once and has not been at his best compared to last season when he scored 30 times, putting more pressure on his new teammate.
Hojlund is yet to find the net in the Premier League but has shown glimpses of the combination of strength and speed that convinced United to sign him instead of pursuing a move for Harry Kane as their new No. 9.
Peter Moller, the head of the Danish Football Federation, hails Hojlund as a “completely unique” talent, praising his dynamism, self-belief, humility, and hard work. Denmark has already witnessed his potential at the international level with seven goals in eight Euro 2024 qualifiers.
United will be counting on him to deliver a similar impact against Danish opposition, hoping to avoid an embarrassing early exit from the Champions League.