Rasmus Hojlund’s Manchester United hot streak has inspired the club to four consecutive victories in all competitions. The 21-year-old striker started slowly under Erik ten Hag but has now well and truly found his feet, and a reported consultation with Red Devils legend Robin van Persie appears to have helped him kick on.
Van Persie, who starred for United between 2012 and 2015, returned to the club last week to observe training as part of his UEFA Pro License. The Dutchman was one of the most-feared Premier League strikers of his era and reportedly found time to share some of his wisdom with Hojlund.
According to The Athletic, Van Persie and United’s No. 11 had a ‘long conversation’ at Carrington ahead of this weekend’s win over Aston Villa. Sure enough, Hojlund stamped his name on the scoresheet for the fifth consecutive match as United sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory.
Ten Hag personally approved Van Persie’s request to spend time at the training ground, and he will hope Hojlund can continue calling on his advice.
Van Persie, who racked up 144 Premier League goals across spells with Arsenal and the Red Devils, was described as a ‘firm friend of the club’ when United made his presence at Carrington public last week. Calling upon experienced Premier League marksmen to aid his forward line is nothing new for Ten Hag.
The former Ajax boss brought ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy on board shortly after being appointed at Old Trafford. And the South African was credited with masterminding Marcus Rashford’s 30-goal haul last season.
United legend Dwight Yorke was among those to question McCarthy and co before United’s form picked up. “[Hojlund] is doing the fundamental things wrong. But he hasn’t got anybody there,” he told AceOdds.
“I’m not sure what Benni McCarthy as the striker’s coach is doing with him to try and help him to progress, those movements, and how to come off of defenders from an angle rather than straight on. It’s the little things that will help him improve.”