Rasmus Hojlund has to be a ‘game-changing signing’ after Man United splashed £72M on the Dane, insists Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman… with Erik ten Hag only able to call upon Anthony Martial if the goals don’t start flowing
- Erik ten Hag’s side struggled to score goals despite progress last season
- Frenchman has never lived up to expectations at Old Trafford amid injury woe
- With Rasmus Hojlund as a striker, Ian Ladyman says he must deliver immediately
Ian Ladyman says that Anthony Martial’s 300 games for Manchester United ‘shows how low the standards are’, and insists that there is now pressure on Rasmus Hojlund to score goals.
With Hojlund arriving with a £72million price tag, naturally, you’d expect him to be Manchester United’s first-choice striker this season.
After a struggle to score goals last season, despite progressing to secure Champions League football once again, Erik Ten Hag’s side had difficulty finding the back of the net.
Erik ten Hag was concerned about United’s lack of goals and the exciting Danish striker has been signed at considerable expense to remedy that.
Even if Ten Hag eases Hojlund into life in a red shirt, you’d anticipate that within a few weeks he will be leading the attack and hopefully taking his chances. All of which is bad news for Anthony Martial.
Anthony Martial looks destined to be Manchester United’s back-up centre forward this season
United boss Erik ten Hag (right) continues to praise Martial’s (left) ability but inconsistent form and injury problems have held the French forward back in recent seasons
‘Martial’s 300 games for United shows how low the standards are. Now Hojlund has to score goals.’ Ian Ladyman said on Transfer Deadline LIVE
Your browser does not support iframes.
‘They haven’t got another reliable centre-forward. Rasmus Hojlund has to score goals,’ said Ladyman on Mail Sport’s Transfer Deadline LIVE.
‘Martial’s 300 games for United shows how low the standards are. Now Hojlund has to score goals.
Martial’s scoring record at Manchester United
2015-16 17 goals in 49 games
2016-17 8 goals in 42 games
2017-18 11 goals in 45 games
2018-19 12 goals in 38 games
2019-20 23 goals in 48 games
2020-21 7 goals in 36 games
2021-22 1 goal in 11 games
2022-23 9 goals in 29 games
‘Hojlund needs to be a game-changing signing. They haven’t got another reliable centre-forward’ Ladyman added.
‘Martial wouldn’t get anywhere near Manchester City or Liverpool’s squad. he scored six Premier League goals last season.
‘I don’t think we can expect a high output from him.
Martial, has been nowhere near reliable enough when it comes to injuries – he had five separate lay-offs last season, missing 27 matches – and United have been inviting offers for the Frenchman this summer.
The Frenchman, through a combination of inconsistency and injury, has never hit the heights expected of him across eight seasons at United.
When Louis van Gaal’s United paid an initial £36m to sign Martial, then a teenager, from Monaco in 2015, one of many add-on clauses concerned the player winning the Ballon d’Or before 2019.
Had United needed to make that particular payment to Monaco, they’d no doubt have been delighted because it would have meant Martial had achieved his sky-high potential.
But unfortunately he hasn’t come anywhere near such levels and the final season of the 27-year-old’s contract looks set to be one of bench-warming and limited opportunity if Hojlund fires.
Martial rues a missed opportunity during United’s disastrous Europa League loss to Sevilla
He managed nine goals in all competitions in a season that was plagued by injury problems
As Mail Sport reported in June, United were prepared to listen to offers for Martial this summer, and wanted £25m for him.
They really don’t want to be bringing a Wout Weghorst-type forward in on loan come January again.
The big Dutchman’s effort and enthusiasm was endearing but he played way more games than expected and didn’t solve the dearth of goals.
Ten Hag will need Martial for sure in lesser Premier League and domestic cup games so Hojlund’s game time can be managed properly. He can also make an impact from the bench.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
Your browser does not support iframes.