Benni McCarthy has ‘desire’ that Man Utd expected after Erik ten Hag’s gamble

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Benni McCarthy and Manchester United’s other coaches are keen on working to develop a particular aspect of Rasmus Hojlund’s game as his wait for a Premier League goal continues, according to reports. Hojlund has shown promising glimpses since his £72million arrival from Atalanta in the summer, but he’s blatantly a raw talent who presented a significant gamble.

The 20-year-old has scored three goals in nine appearances for United, all coming in the opening two Champions League outings.

Hojlund netted his first Red Devils strike in the 4-3 defeat at Bayern Munich before an impressive brace against Galatasaray went to waste in a 3-2 loss at Old Trafford.

But he has featured in six Premier League games without scoring, and his 1.3 xG suggests he’s waiting for service from Erik ten Hag’s creative players that simply hasn’t arrived.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag wanted a striker who could hold up the ball and link up play rather than dropping off.

And while Hojlund has demonstrated impressive examples of the above, McCarthy and United’s coaches want to help Hojlund refine the skill to help him become more involved in matches.

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The report claims that United expected Hojlund to be far from the finished article upon his arrival the year after moving from FC Copenhagen to Atalanta via Sturm Graz for a combined £14.5m.

Hojlund’s dominant display against Galatasaray is said to have convinced United that they made the right decision to abandon their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane early in the summer.

Ten Hag and John Murtough also moved away from Ollie Watkins and Evan Ferguson to prevent the club’s latest drawn-out transfer saga.

Randal Kolo Muani was also reportedly near the top of Ten Hag’s shortlist after scoring 23 goals in 46 games for Eintracht Frankfurt last season.

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However, United went all in on Hojlund, who they believed eclipsed Kolo Muani in potential and how well he would fit in the Dutchman’s system.

Strikers are ultimately judged on how many goals they score, especially those that cost £72m, and especially those who play for United.

But there is a sense of patience with Hojlund at Old Trafford.

Despite his early blanks in the league, the charismatic Denmark international has shown enough to harvest confidence that he is the man to spearhead United’s attack for years to come.

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