Ex-Man Utd striker criticises Rasmus Hojlund as verdict given on two January transfer links

The £72m summer arrival has just one Premier League goal to his name.
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Mark Hughes believes Rasmus Hojlund will come good for Manchester United but is struggling under the pressure of leading the line for such a huge club.

Hojlund arrived at United in the summer, penning a five-year deal after a £72million fee was agreed with Atalanta. Erik ten Hag had earmarked Harry Kane as his prime target at No.9 but after being met with stern resistance from Tottenham, opted for the younger Dane in a bid to improve his side's attacking threat.

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Hojlund needed 15 appearances to score his first Premier League goal, which came in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa after Christmas. The Danish striker has shown plenty of promise as the club's leading man but poor finishing has seen pressure on him increase with each game.

"He's struggling with the level at the moment," Hughes told Sky Sports. "It's a huge ask to expect [so much of] a young 20-year-old striker who hasn't had a great deal of experience at any level. Huge amount of money they paid for him, there's huge faith in his ability, but at the moment he's not the finished article. 

"It's difficult for the young lad at the moment. He shows lots of endeavour, lots of energy, he’s a strong boy. I think he'll come through but at the moment he's just a little bit behind where he needs to be." Hojlund's struggles in front of goal, plus the continued feeling of frustration surrounding Anthony Martial, could force United into the transfer market this month but funds are tight and a marquee arrival is not likely.

Ten Hag could look to secure a loan deal and recent reports have linked United with Bayern Munich's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. The 34-year-old has only started three Bundesliga matches this season but has Premier League experience under Hughes at Stoke City.

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"I think it’s needs must at this moment in time," the former Reds forward added of this month's transfer links. "I had Choupo-Moting at Stoke, I brought him to the club. He’s a great guy around the place, has a nice personality, and can play clearly. 

"He’s more of a player that would be a good back-up. Whether or not he can drive a team himself, I'm not quite sure. But in terms of bringing someone into the Premier League, he has that understanding, a bit like Timo Werner who has experience at Chelsea which is a real consideration.  In terms of ability they tick the boxes but whether they can make a huge difference to United, I'm not too sure."