‘Hojlund scored nine goals for Atalanta in his 1,836 minutes on the pitch with a conversation rate of just 16.7 per cent’. Just?
A hint of deception
Manchester United transfer news is the great driver of July traffic for football websites so it’s hardly a surprise to see this headline on the Mirror website:
Transfer news LIVE: Hojlund drops Man Utd hint, Bayern make £70m Kane bid, Arsenal’s Mbappe chance
We’re giddy about this ‘hint’ though keeping expectations low: is it a signed Manchester United shirt? An Instagram follow? It’s described as a ‘KEY EVENT’ so it must be big.
It appears that Atalanta have dropped a major hint over the future of Manchester United target Rasmus Hojlund, reports Daniel Orme.
Oh FFS. It’s already only ‘appears’ and it’s now Atalanta and not Hojlund dropping hints, but they have our click so who are the fools? And we’re here now so…
According to L’Equipe, the Italian side are already planning for life without the former Sturm Graz forward.
It is suggested they are closing in on a deal for Almeria’s El Bilal Toure.
The Red Devils could also provide them with Hojlund’s natural successor, with the suspended Mason Greenwood being considered by the Atalanta hierarchy ahead of next season.
So a French newspaper has said that an Italian club want a Malian footballer who plays for a Spanish club to replace a Danish striker joining an English team.
It’s basically nailed on. If anything, it’s more than a ‘hint’.
Lies, damned lies and statistics
But all this is moot of course because Erik ten Hag will surely not buy Rasmus Hojlund after the weekend revelations from People stalwart Steve Bates that broke traffic records this weekend.
Concerning Rasmus Hojlund scout report gives Erik ten Hag much to think about at Man Utd
Clearly the implication here is that Ten Hag has received a ‘concerning’ scout report when the story is that Bates himself has talked to two scouts who have doubts about a player who scored nine goals in 32 Serie A games last season.
But it’s the stats that have really confused Bates, who writes:
Hojlund scored nine goals for Atalanta in his 1,836 minutes on the pitch with a conversation rate of just 16.7 per cent but the eleven clear-cut chances he missed will be alarming for United fans.
Does that mean he has a conversation with one in every six people he meets?
Sorry, that’s unnecessarily facetious; let’s ignore the typo and concentrate on the stats.
So Hojlund actually scored with one in every six of his shots for Atalanta last season. Want to take a guess how many Serie A players scored a) more goals and b) had a better ‘conversation’ rate last season? It’s a massive four: Boulaye Dia, Marko Arnautovic, Ademola Lookman and Victor Osimhen. That is all.
And what was Marcus Rashford’s conversion rate for Manchester United in the Premier League last season? Just 16%. For maths fans, that’s less than 16.7%. It’s almost like Hojlund actually did okay with limited minutes – he started only 20 Serie A games – and limited service.
As for the ‘eleven clear-cut chances he missed’ that will be alarming for United fans? Does somebody want to tell Bates that Haaland missed 28 and Rashford missed 22 last season?
We tend to agree that Manchester United need a more polished striker than Hojlund but scoring with one of six shots makes him deadlier in front of goal than 22/23 Mo Salah, Aleksandar Mitrović or Bukayo Saka.
Stats without context are about as useful as strikers without midfielders.
The Sun‘s Manchester United man Martin Blackburn played it pretty straight as he reported that ‘MANCHESTER UNITED will make a major push to land Andre Onana as their new keeper this week’ but no f***er is clicking on that so…
Man Utd closing in on Andre Onana transfer swoop… as reason why he’s replacing David de Gea revealed
Because absolutely nobody knew that Erik ten Hag ‘clearly wants a keeper who can play out from the back’ until the 11th paragraph of this otherwise-anodyne Sun story.
Well all just thought he was replacing De Gea for sh*ts and giggles.
Ain’t too proud to beg
To ‘beg’ is – according to the dictionary – to ‘ask someone earnestly or humbly for something’. So we we had high hopes of some Oliver Twist-style requests from Thiago Silva to prospective new Chelsea signing Paulo Dybala.
‘Agent’ Thiago Silva reveals he’s begged Paulo Dybala to complete Chelsea transfer and says World Cup winner has replied
Those quotes from Thiago in full from The Sun website:
“I saw Paulo Dybala here, they talk about him at Chelsea. I hope he arrives.
“I’ve talked with him and asked him if he is coming, he answered me, but I can’t say what he told me.”
Have some dignity, man.
Thiago Silva: “I’ve asked Paulo Dybala if it’s true that he’s coming to Chelsea but he didn’t answer! He’s a top player, he’d be a massive signing for us — I’d like it” 🔵 #CFC
“Pulisic is good guy, he’s gonna do very well at Milan — same as Loftus Cheek”, told Sky. pic.twitter.com/aFe76eKKIi
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 9, 2023
So Thiago didn’t beg. And Dybala didn’t reply. Other than that, The Sun have absolutely nailed this.
‘West Ham leave Declan Rice OUT of their new kit launch with midfielder set to complete £105m move to Arsenal this summer’ – MailOnline.