Erik ten Hag has revealed that summer signing Rasmus Hojlund joined in his first Manchester United training session on Friday as he nears a debut for the club.
The 20-year-old, a £72m signing from Atalanta earlier this summer, was carrying a back injury when he moved to Old Trafford and is yet to make his debut for the club.
Reports had suggested Hojlund could be fit enough to make the bench for Saturday’s meeting with Nottingham Forest, but while Ten Hag had to shoot such optimism down, he did reveal the striker has taken a huge step towards making his first appearance.
“He’s near,” Ten Hag told a press conference. “Today, for the first time, he came into team training so next week we expect him to do a full week of team trainings so he is near to the squad.”
Injuries have complicated life for Ten Hag this week as both Mason Mount and Luke Shaw have been ruled out for extended periods due to muscle injuries.
Mount’s fitness setback only adds to the uncertainty surrounding United‘s midfield, with fans growing concerned that Ten Hag’s team have been overwhelmed in the middle of the park during their first two games of the season.
Ten Hag, however, rebuffed concerns about the midfield and instead blamed both his defence and attack for failing to find the right balance.
“You always have to analyse clinically and that assessment is not right, it was about the back and the front, not about the midfield,” he stressed. “That is why we were open. I said that straight after the game.”
What we know
- Hojlund was injured when he completed his £72m move from Atalanta earlier this summer
- 20-year-old striker has not yet made his debut
- United have lost Luke Shaw & Mason Mount to injury as well