Man Utd transfer news: Rasmus Hojlund’s form proof Ten Hag must buy Amadou Onana

Cameron Smith
Rasmus Hojlund, Man Utd, 2023/24

Rasmus Hojlund failed to score in his first 14 Premier League appearances following his €73.9 million summer move from Atalanta, but he has now well and truly found his feet at Manchester United.

The Denmark international did bag five goals during the Champions League group stage, however his early form in the English top flight was slightly troubling.

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Hojlund showed frequent bright moments during his goal drought, but service was limited from Alejandro Garnacho and Antony, and he was unable to make his mark.

So, when he scored against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, his relief was overwhelming.

That game was the first in which Garnacho was deployed on the right wing and Hojlund’s fortunes have changed massively since Erik ten Hag made that switch.

The ex-Atalanta star has flourished at the top of Man Utd’s attack and his relationship with Garnacho and Marcus Rashford is currently blossoming.

The trio have 11 goals and four assists in their last five games, while Hojlund has six goal involvements in his last four Premier League appearances.

In addition, Man Utd have four wins and one draw from their last five matches in all competitions and Hojlund has played a key role in their recent form.

The 21-year-old has scored in four consecutive league matches and he is finally displaying the goal-scoring prowess that earned him a big-money move to Old Trafford in 2023.

Rasmus Hojlund (left) with Alejandro Garnacho (centre) and Kobbie Mainoo (right)
© IMAGO – Rasmus Hojlund (left) with Alejandro Garnacho (centre) and Kobbie Mainoo (right)

Throughout January, Man Utd were heavily linked with signing another forward in order to provide Hojlund with competition amid his struggles in front of goal, but that is no longer a necessity following his recent revival.

Instead, the Red Devils should focus on signing a long-term replacement for Casemiro.

Amadou Onana to Man Utd?

Casemiro is now 31 years old and while he isn’t yet finished at the top level, Saudi Pro League interest suggests that it may not be long before the ex-Real Madrid star leaves the European game.

Furthermore, while he has made eight tackles in his two league appearances since returning from injury, the Brazilian has been dribbled past on seven occasions during that time and he also conceded a penalty against Wolves.

At his best, he remains a key player for Ten Hag, but Man Utd must sign a new number six this summer as Casemiro’s powers begin to wane.

Kobbie Mainoo has been a revelation since his introduction into the first-team, however the young Englishman is evidently best in a double pivot as the presence of a more defensive-minded partner allows him to advance into forward areas.

The return of Casemiro has allowed Mainoo to play slightly more advanced and Man Utd have seen the benefit of that with his goals against Newport County and Wolves.

Therefore, it’s critical for Man Utd to sign a new defensive midfielder as they look to build on Mainoo’s sensational start in senior football.

The potential man for the job could be Everton’s Amadou Onana.

FootballTransfers understand Man Utd are interested in signing the Belgian, although they could face competition from Newcastle United.

Onana has shone since joining Everton from Lille in 2022 and a move away has been touted as a possibility in 2024.

We understand that a fee of around €70m (£60m) will be enough for Sean Dyche’s side to sell the midfielder, and Onana would be perfect for Man Utd.

The Belgium star would add considerable height to the Red Devils’ midfield and his ability to screen the back four would allow Mainoo to push forward and impact the game in the final third.

Amadou Onana, Everton
© IMAGO – Amadou Onana, Everton

Furthermore, Onana has Premier League experience and is a player that Ten Hag likes.

The 22-year-old also has the potential to become a key player at Old Trafford, according to data analytics experts SciSports. Onana also has a potential SciSkill rating of 108.8, which is higher than Casemiro’s current 104.9.

The Everton star has proven his quality at Goodison Park and Man Utd should prioritise a summer move for the Belgian as they search for a long-term Casemiro replacement.

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