Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag addresses Rasmus Hojlund's form

Erik ten Hag believes Rasmus Hojlund has had a "very good season" at Manchester United despite his recent struggles in front of goal.

The 21-year-old arrived from Atalanta in a £72million deal in July and did not score his first Premier League goal until Boxing Day but tallied five goals in four games to claim the Player of the Month award for February.

Hojlund has scored 14 goals this term but has only managed one in his past ten games since he returned from a muscular injury in mid-March.

"He has had three injuries this season but still, as you say, he scored 14 goals this season," Ten Hag said. "I think that's a very good record for a young player.

"Also when we decided to go for him we talked about earlier that we buy a player, of course, for this season and also for the future. He has to develop, he has to progress, he needs time and sometimes it goes up and down.

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"Before winter he struggled to get his first Premier League goal but you see he is a very strong character. Sometimes you have downs but I am sure he will fight his way. He is very eager for every match to return to his form and I am more confident. He's close."

Ten Hag also defended United's plans for their frontline in the summer. Anthony Martial, the alternative striker, has not played since December 9 and is six weeks behind in his scheduled return from groin surgery.

The injury-prone Martial played in only 28 of United's 62 matches last season. Marcus Rashford plundered 30 goals in 2022-23 but has only managed eight this term. Hojlund's goalscoring record is so modest Harry Kane has netted more club goals this season than Hojlund has in his career.

"So last season, we had the goalscorer with 30, so we add one extra striker to our squad," Ten Hag explained. "From financial resources, more was not possible.

"So we were quite confident when you are third in the league, you are in two finals and you win one final, if you then add one striker then your transfer policy is right."