Paul Scholes defends Rasmus Hojlund and says he ‘needs help’ from struggling Manchester United trio
The pundit believes Hojlund has all the tools to be a top-class striker.
The Denmark international, a £72million signing from Atalanta in the summer, is yet to score or assist in the Premier League while all five of his Champions league goals have come in defeats.
He missed another sitter at the weekend against Luton Town but Scholes has seen enough to know that Hojlund can be a huge asset to United if he gets the service he craves – and feels Luke Shaw’s return from injury could be the key to unlocking his goalscoring potential.
Speaking to Webby & O’Neill, Scholes said: ‘He’s a big strong lad with pace, he looks to me like he has everything to be a top-class centre-forward.
‘I think he’s got the movement to do it, he missed a really good chance on Saturday [vs Luton], it was in a little bit of an awkward position for him, but if things are going for you it does bounce off you and go in.
‘There is a lot of pressure on the kid. You think of the teams Manchester United have had, they’ve always had three or four centre-forwards who can score 25/30 goals.
‘They’ve almost got one now, who is a 20-year-old kid who has come without a real proven goalscoring track record. He needs help.
‘Fernandes needs to play in that No.10 position more, he needs to get closer to him, he needs to help him, he needs to try and find some kind of partnership while the pressure is on him.
‘He [Hojlund] has got wide players around him who don’t cross the ball. He looks to me like he’s a centre-forward that wants crosses, he’s got clever movement on crosses – on Saturday against Luton for his chance, some really good movement, he checked, moved the lad out the way and got in.
‘Now you’ve got Marcus Rashford who just wants to cut inside and shoot, you’ve got Antony playing at times, Garnacho, they’re almost trying to be goalscoring wide players – who, at the minute, aren’t scoring goals. But they don’t provide crosses either.
‘When Luke Shaw comes back he will be a big bonus, I think he will cross the ball getting forward.
‘I think Dalot is capable of crossing the ball, if he gets in positions, but I worry about him in big games. I don’t think defensively, or his character, is strong enough to cope with big games.
‘So, look, Hojlund needs help. There’s no doubt about that. Where’s the other centre-forward? You think of Martial, doesn’t play a game.
‘I’m going back to our teams having four forwards, you’re looking at 80-100 goals a season. Maybe 20 goals a season you’re guaranteed, on average, from each of them. Where is that in the team now? It’s just not there anymore.’
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