When Manchester United play the Danes at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, Rasmus Hojlund will be motivated to defeat his former team FC Copenhagen, according to manager Erik ten Hag.
Hojlund began his professional career with the team in his hometown, then moved quickly to Sturm Graz, Atalanta, and finally United in a £72 million deal last summer.
It’s possible that he will come up against his younger twin siblings Oscar and Emil, who both made their first-team club debuts this season, as well as Copenhagen for the first time.
‘When you have a little bit of empathy, then you know it is a special game for him,’ said manager Ten Hag. ‘He grew up there at this club and you know he will be highly motivated. That’s for me, for the team, but especially of course from him to send that in the right direction, the right balance.’
Hojlund has scored three goals in nine games for United, but they have all come in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray.
Ten Hag is expecting even more from the 20-year-old Denmark international as he settles into English football after making a late start due to a back injury.
‘First of all we have to work on our routines,’ added Ten Hag. ‘He missed pre-season and the first four games, but from the moment he came in he gives the team a lot.
‘Against Galatasaray, it was definitely two brilliant goals as well as the one in Munich. He is always in scoring positions in our team. I am sure – the same with Marcus Rashford – that in every game when we as a team do what we have to do, they will be in scoring positions and then it’s about the finishing.’
Ten Hag was also asked about his other Danish player, Christian Eriksen, who has not started a game since September 20.
‘Definitely he takes part in every game,’ countered the United boss. ‘You see his importance when he is on the pitch. There is a big influence on the team and he is a great player, a brilliant player and he is important for the squad.
‘We have many good players, we don’t have a squad of 11. We have internal competition. In the back we have some struggles, we don’t have so many numbers, but in the midfield there is a huge competition.’