Rasmus Hojlund speaks out on 'frustrating' start to Man Utd career

  • Rasmus Hojlund reflects on the challenges of his debut season at Man Utd
  • Striker initially struggled in the Premier League but finished with ten goals
  • Admits frustration with the level of scrutiny and lack of freedom
Rasmus Hojlund has started to silence his critics
Rasmus Hojlund has started to silence his critics / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund has admitted that failing to score in his first 14 Premier League was a "frustrating" feeling.

Hojlund arrived with the pressure of a £72m price tag on his shoulders, aged just 20 at the time and also suffering from an existing back problem that delayed his debut. And while he quickly got to grips with the Champions League, the Premier League proved much tougher to crack.

But finishing the campaign with ten goals in the league (16 across all competitions) means that he scored those ten in the space of just 16 games in the second half of the campaign.

"It took some time for me to get going in the Premier League, but I think I've caught up quite well. I feel like I've found my rhythm," Hojlund told Tipsbladet.

"It was a frustrating time leading up to my first goal in the Premier League because I felt there was a lot of focus on it. I felt that more energy could have been spent on the fact that I was the top scorer in the Champions League. It's not just being that. 

"But of course, I understand that it's not impressive not to score a single goal in your first 14 Premier League matches, but I felt that bad luck was on my side in the league games. Fortunately, it got better. When I scored against Aston Villa [on Boxing Day], I felt like the curse had lifted a bit. It was a good day because I scored my first goal, and we beat a really good team."

Rasmus Hojlund
Hojlund finished his debut Premier League season with ten goals / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Hojlund was largely unknown before being thrust into the United spotlight and also said that he has quickly learned how to cope with the sudden attention that comes with it, from being followed by photographers in the street to having unfair articles written about him – like one such piece from the Manchester Evening News that claimed teammates were reluctant to pass to Hojlund.

"I don't understand such an article," the player said. "I feel like I get the ball if I'm in the right positions. I would have liked to get the ball a bit more sometimes, but that's just not always possible. It's another example of something I have to shut out because it's just a lot of noise.

"You have to filter the stories because 90-95 per cent of them are nonsense. I had to learn to sort through them, because there's not much else I can do other than put them on ice."

He continued: "You feel an incredible amount of pressure when you're at Manchester United. There are eyes on you all the time, on and off the pitch, because the club is so huge. It takes some time to get used to it, but I feel like I've found my rhythm 

"I remember one of the first days when I was walking around the city with my girlfriend, and there were paparazzi photographers on the street. I thought, 'Wow, do people really care to see pictures of me just walking around?' Apparently, you can make a lot of show and both good and bad stories out of that. I've always wanted to get here, and it's not that it isn't great, but there is definitely also a downside. You don't have the same freedom in your vocabulary and generally in everyday life. You can't always say what's on your mind, because it can be taken out of context.

"I do miss that part – being able to be at peace and act like an idiot if that's what you want. I do miss being able to mind my own business without thinking about whether someone is listening and keeping up with where Rasmus Hojlund is now."

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