After seeing his Manchester United players struggle to find the back of the net in his first season in charge of the club, manager Erik ten Hag decided quite early on that the club needed to recruit an elite striker in the summer transfer window.
Reportedly, Ten Hag’s first preference was signing Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer Harry Kane but in the end, monetary issues meant the deal was abandoned as the Englishman headed to Bayern Munich instead.
United ended up taking a risk and opted to sign Atalanta’s wonderkid Rasmus Hojlund, a self-confessed United fan, for big money and the player was elated to be joining his dream club.
That gamble has certainly paid off in the Champions League with the Dane currently the top scorer in Europe’s elite competition with five goals in four games.
And in even better news, the striker has just been nominated for Denmark’s Player of the Year award and has been joined by his Premier League compatriot Joachim Andersen and Barcelona star Andreas Christensen as fellow nominees.
“In Denmark, we are gifted with countless excellent footballers. But in the football year 2023, three of them stand out in particular.
“Because according to the players – the true experts – Joachim Andersen, Rasmus Højlund and Andreas Christensen have been extraordinary.
“And that is why the three national team players have been nominated for the award as Male Soccer Player of the Year 2023,” the official website for the awards announced.
It has been a meteoric rise for the 20-year-old who just over a year ago was playing in the Austrian Bundesliga for Sturm Graz.
In little over a year, he signed for Atalanta, where the København-born star scored ten times and earned himself a move to the Theatre of Dreams.
His form for his country has been the stuff of dreams. In 2023, the player kickstarted proceedings with a hat-trick against Finland in their Euro qualifiers.
In eight games this calendar year, Hojlund has scored seven times and provided one assist in eight games and has already become his national team’s talisman.
The Danish players will choose who wins the Player of the Year award on January 6. The prize is awarded by the Players’ Association and DBU in collaboration with Hessel HiRE.
Current United star Christian Eriksen has won the award five times, the most in Danish history.