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Rasmus Hojlund says he is a work in progress that knows his worth as Manchester United’s big-money summer signing eyes improvements and derby success this weekend.
The Red Devils’ need for a striker has been obvious for some time but eyebrows were raised when they plumped for potential over a proven talent like Harry Kane.
United’s belief in Hojlund saw them pay Atalanta an initial £64million fee for the somewhat unproven striker, with the deal having the potential to reach up to £72m.
The 20-year-old’s promising start suggests the club’s confidence in the rough diamond was not misplaced and the Denmark striker appears comfortable with the price tag.
“I know my worth,” Hojlund said. “I know I have to perform every day because I play for Manchester United.
“In the end, I am only 20 years old and I am not the finished article yet. I still have a lot to improve and I am getting there slowly.
“I reckon I have had a fine start to the season and now we have to keep building and the goals will come in the Premier League.”
Hojlund was dealing with a back issue when he arrived from Italy, delaying his debut until September.
The 20-year-old has scored three in 10 appearances for United in all competitions, with the striker now looking to open his Premier League account having only scored in the Champions League to date.
“I play for my boyhood club,” Hojlund said. “I have always supported Manchester United, so I am living my dream every day.
“I try to show personality and want to give 110 per cent every time I play a football match, so maybe that is the reason why they are showing a special bond towards me.”
“I’ve tried my best every time I play, and I still need to find the rhythm.
“We have been struggling a little bit, but we are getting there now. We have had three wins in a row, so that is very positive.
“For sure (I’m still getting used to the Premier League). I improve every day and my team-mates are starting to see my patterns in the game as well, so it is getting better and better every day.”
Hojlund believes a bond is developing with homegrown star Marcus Rashford, whose debut Manchester derby day heroics he would love to replicate this weekend.
The England forward scored United’s winner in his first senior match against rivals City, who head to Old Trafford for Sunday’s mouthwatering top-flight clash.
“It would be a big experience, so I am looking forward to it,” Hojlund said as United look to build on Premier League wins against Brentford and Sheffield United.
“It is always special to play a rival and if we win the game, we can get closer to the top, so it would be nice.”
Asked for his most memorable derby match, the boyhood United fan said: “The bicycle kick from Wayne Rooney, of course! Everybody remembers that, don’t they?”
Among the many talking points ahead of the Manchester derby is sure to be comparisons between Hojlund and City sharpshooter Erling Haaland.
The young talent’s profile, career trajectory and Scandinavian roots have led to numerous comparisons to the Norway striker, who United tried to sign in the past.
“Like I’ve said many times, I don’t want to be compared to him,” Hojlund said. “He is incredible and probably the best striker in the world right now.
“We can keep that on the low for now, but I hope I can improve and then we will see what I am capable of.”
Hojlund was speaking in the bowels of Old Trafford after United defeated his hometown team and former club in a crucial Champions League clash.
Erik ten Hag’s men needed kick-started their Group A campaign with Tuesday’s hard-fought 1-0 victory against a Copenhagen side that included Hojlund’s younger brother Oscar.
Rasmus spoke alongside the 18-year-old, who came off the bench at Old Trafford hours after twin Emil helped Copenhagen Under-19s beat United in the UEFA Youth League.
“It is a great feeling being on the same pitch as my brother, and not only in a normal stadium,” the United frontman said.
“In Denmark it is one of the most special stadiums in the world, so it is a special feeling.”
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