‘I want to build that connection’ – Man Utd captain Fernandes rates new signing Hojlund

Joe Williams
Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes during a Premier League match against Arsenal.

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes is looking forward to building a “connection” with Rasmus Hojlund as he rates the new signing.

The Red Devils forked out £72m for the Denmark international with Hojlund joining from Serie A side Atalanta in the summer transfer window.

Hojlund has scored 27 goals in 88 senior matches but there will be a pressure on him to score goals this season despite only being 20.

He is seen as the permanent replacement for the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Man Utd last November following a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.

Hojlund made his debut in the Red Devils’ 3-1 loss to Arsenal before the international break, coming off the bench for the final 23 minutes of the match.

The Dane has been nursing a back injury for most of his time at Man Utd but Fernandes is now encouraged by Hojlund’s progress.

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Speaking about Hojlund, the Man Utd captain said: “He’s someone who is always trying to speak to everyone, he is a kid that what I have seen until now who obviously wants to work he wants to get into the team.

“He wants to be fit as soon as possible and I think he will bring us a lot of energy, a lot of strength and hopefully a lot goals too.

“I want to build that connection with him, as well as building that connection with the other wingers and the other strikers because I’ve always said I’m here and everyone behind them is here to serve them.

“We want them to feel happy, to feel that the ball is coming they will get their chances and obviously it’s about them getting their goals and that’s what we want.

“I want my strikers and wingers to score goals I want to see their happy faces, celebrating in front of the Stretford End at Old Trafford and obviously it’s a good feeling even when someone scores that is not you.”

Man Utd legend Gary Neville is looking forward to seeing Hojlund “mess people about” after making an “encouraging start” to life at Old Trafford.

When asked on Sky Sports for his verdict of Hojlund’s debut, Neville said: “Manchester United have not had a striker they can hit. Ronaldo was not a classic target man, [Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford certainly aren’t, but it looks as though he will mess people about. The good thing is that he’s still learning the game.

“He’s only played a couple of seasons at top-level football, but people are expecting him to be an Erling Haaland for Manchester United. They don’t have anyone with experience to help or back him up.”

Neville added: ” [Anthony] Martial. We have been watching him for eight or nine years now – and he’s not what Ten Hag needs or wants. This lad [Hojlund], big price tag on him, it was an encouraging start.”