Man Utd receive double boost in transfer race for the ‘next Erling Haaland’

March 27, 2023

Manchester United’s search for a striker has been well-documented and will only continue to heat up as we edge closer to the summer transfer window.

Erik ten Hag has made it a priority to add extra firepower to his front line, having lost patience with Anthony Martial and grown overly reliant on the goalscoring of wide man Marcus Rashford.

There would appear to be two leading candidates for the role in the shape of elite options Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen, but a player of their quality comes with a club-record price-tag.

United have still never spent more than £89million on a player, and will most likely need to exceed that this summer if they are to sign a world-class forward that can rival the likes of Erling Haaland in the years to come.

In an ideal world, United would not only sign a top striker at the end of the season, but they would also sign one who is capable of developing into an elite striker for the best part of the decade as well.

It is easier said than done, though. Given the huge expectations and pressure at a club of their size, United cannot always take the risk on unproven signings and often have to have a reactionary transfer approach rather than a proactive one.o

Atalanta and Denmark striker Rasmus HojlundManchester United are interested in Denmark prodigy Rasmus Hojlund

Then there is the overall development of a player as well, given that being thrown into the deep end at United is not necessarily the wisest move for their own career trajectory, with their focus on finding a club where they can take the next step before moving to a truly elite club.

Haaland and Bellingham are both fine examples of that. They are extremely talented players who are arguably the greatest youngsters in their respective positions, but they in part owe that to gradual career progression aided by time at Borussia Dortmund, and very well might not have developed as quickly had they both moved to the Premier League instead.

It’s for those reasons that United still need to sign an elite option this summer, but if possible, it would be wise to take a risk on a lesser-known talent who can aide them in the long-term without the immediate need to succeed.

They might have the perfect candidate in Rasmus Højlund.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a successful debut season at Italian side Atalanta, netting 14 goals and five assists in 33 appearances following his €17 million move from Sturm Graz a year ago.

Højlund grabbed further headlines last week when he netted a hat-trick in his first start for Denmark in their European Championship qualifier against Finland and another two in the shock defeat to Kazakhstan on Sunday.

The obvious concern is that he is still very raw and would represent a sizeable risk for any team to take a gamble on if they were to convince Atalanta to sell him this summer.

They would want to make a profit on the decent fee they spent on him last summer, and could expect to almost double it with a deal in the region of €30million.