Man Utd decision that was ‘forced’ upon Ten Hag has been a ‘big help’ to their season

Ciaran McCarthy
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, February 2024
Erik ten Hag in high spirits at Manchester United game

Roy Keane believes Erik ten Hag has been “forced” to play Rasmus Hojlund consistently this season, but him doing so is proving a “big help” to Manchester United.

Hojlund was signed from Atalanta for £72million in the summer, landing him a place in the top 10 of United’s most expensive signings ever. Despite having been plucked out of Serie A with nine goals in 32 games and having a tough start in the Premier League, it would have been hard not to play him.

Indeed, Hojund went 14 games without scoring a Premier League goal before he finally broke his duck in the 15th, but in that time, United had to keep faith, according to Keane.

“The manager has been forced to play him week in and week out – it’s been a big help,” Keane said on Sky Sports.

The Red Devils couldn’t exactly push Hojlund to the side while he was struggling to adjust, as they’d just thrown £72million at his signing. The Dane not only remained in the side amid those struggles, but was given consistent minutes, and that’s now paid off.

He’s scored in each of his last five league games, while also assisting during two of those, and Keane feels the striker is showing a desire to have an impact for his side every time he walks out.

“He’s on fire, it took him a few months. It’s more settled and he’s got confidence. I believe every time he’s on the pitch, he thinks ‘I’m going to score a goal for Man United’ – he’s showing good form,” Keane said.

Gary Neville is in agreement that the United frontline, of which Hojlund is now a key member, look better than they did at the start of the season, but feels there are still improvements to be made, as you “don’t see any patterns or combinations.

In any case, right now, the attack is the main reason for United’s form. Ten Hag’s side have won their last three games in the league, scoring nine goals within those.

If they keep up their good form in front of goal, wins will no doubt keep coming, and they’ll hope they’re able to break into the top four come the end of the season.

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