Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag can find new Stam and Van Nistelrooy partnership

Manchester United fans finally got a glimpse of summer signing Rasmus Hojlund with early indications that he could be a handful for Premier League defences this season. But Erik ten Hag may get a better indication over the next week with Hojlund and Christian Eriksen linking up for Denmark in the international break.

Hojlund has already made a solid start to his international career with six goals in as many games, including a hat-trick against Finland in his first start for Denmark. He’s scored all but one of Denmark’s seven goals in their European Championship qualifying group and will be expected to feature in crucial matches against San Marino and Finland in the next few days.

Eriksen will also be set to start in midfield, potentially giving Ten Hag his first real to see the United duo form an early partnership. The 31-year-old could be key for United in trying to unlock Hojlund’s full potential and having him working alongside Hojlund during the international break will only benefit Ten Hag.

The young striker is in need of getting up to speed for his match fitness having missed most of pre-season due to his injury. There will be some concern from United over Hojlund’s minutes for Denmark and they’re likely to be managed.

‘Agent’ Eriksen admitted earlier this summer that he had a role in Hojlund’s move to Old Trafford. “Of course, I’ve spoken to the manager about Rasmus before and I’ve spoken to Rasmus about the club so in that way, of course, I’ve told him all the stuff about the club and then obviously I still told him at the time it was his decision to see where he wanted to go and where he could see himself. And then, luckily, it was here,” he said.

“I hope he will bring some goals but definitely he’ll bring a lot of [desire]. He’s a pressing player with a good technique, good runs. Like a proper nine. I hope he can develop into a very strong player here.” As one of the most experienced players at Old Trafford, Eriksen will be tasked in trying to set an example for Hojlund.

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Ten Hag will now be hoping the midfielder can turn provider for Hojlund in helping the young striker realise his full potential. Having an older, more experienced international team-mate helping a young starlet settle into a new club has proven to be hugely beneficial for teams in the past.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Victor Lindelof when the defender signed for United back in 2017 while Jaap Stam played a role in Ruud van Nistelrooy settling into life at United in 2001. Eriksen was on the pitch for Hojlund’s United debut at the weekend in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.

And there were already signs of the two being in tandem as Eriksen played through to his international team-mate on several occasions. Ten Hag will be hoping that’s a sign of things to come and the international break is a perfect chance to see his two Danish stars work on their blossoming partnership.

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