Despite his tender age, Hojlund arrived at United under the weight of great expectations due to his hefty £72million price tag. The former Atalanta forward, 20, scored nine Serie A goals last season.
It took him significantly longer to get off the mark this campaign, amassing more than 1,000 minutes of Premier League action before finally finding the net against Villa. The relief on Hojlund’s face was clear to see, and manager Erik ten Hag was similarly jubilant as the winner marked the end of a miserable United run.
Parker, who spent five years at Old Trafford in the 1990s, believes that the Danish frontman has been battling the hostility that comes naturally with being a United player.
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“Everyone hates Manchester United and Rasmus Hojlund,” he told Tipsbladet. “Experts and critics hope that he fails because he plays for the world’s biggest club, which nobody likes. The good thing is that the fans have always supported him, and they will continue to do so.”
A lack of chemistry between United’s attacking stars has been partly to blame for their patchy form this campaign. Statistics show that wingers Alejandro Garnacho and Antony often fail to provide Hojlund with opportunities, which Parker believes is riling up the youngster.
Hojlund’s domestic struggles had been offset by Champions League success earlier this season, with the forward bagging five goals in only six appearances. But United failed to make it through the group stages, meaning he will have to find domestic consistency or risk Ten Hag dipping into the winter transfer market.
Stuttgart goal machine Serhou Guirassy and Bologna marksman Joshua Kirkzee are among the names rumoured to be on United’s hit list, with the January window set to open next week.