Rasmus Hojlund, the young Manchester United player, may need to assert himself and demand better service from his teammates, according to Rio Ferdinand.
On Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, it was revealed that Hojlund has only managed 1.7 shots per 90 minutes, making him the 100th-ranked player in the Premier League to have played 180 minutes or more.
This lack of service was evident as he failed to register a single shot in Manchester United’s recent win over Fulham.
The responsibility to address this issue falls on manager Erik ten Hag, who needs to ensure that the service to Hojlund improves.
However, Rio Ferdinand suggests that Hojlund himself could play a role in motivating his supply-shy teammates.
Ferdinand recalls an incident from his time at Manchester United when Ruud van Nistelrooy expressed his frustration with a young Cristiano Ronaldo for not delivering the ball into the box.
Van Nistelrooy’s experienced leadership helped Ronaldo improve his end product.
While Hojlund doesn’t possess the same stature as Van Nistelrooy did at the time, Ferdinand believes he may need to take a similar approach to shake his teammates into action.
Ferdinand says, “Ruud van Nistelrooy more or less had Cristiano Ronaldo in tears almost one day, saying ‘How can I make my runs when you don’t cross the ball?’ That’s how Hojlund must feel right now with the wide players he’s playing with.”
Hojlund may need to step up as a vocal leader to inspire his teammates to deliver the right service, even if he is not as experienced as Van Nistelrooy.
Ferdinand suggests that Hojlund has the potential to earn his teammates’ respect by taking the initiative and asserting himself.
He points out that Hojlund has shown his ability to score goals in the Champions League, with three in three games.
However, he hasn’t had the same opportunities in the Premier League yet, which has led to his frustration.
Ferdinand backs Hojlund and emphasizes that the lack of service is the primary issue, not the player’s performance.
He believes that Hojlund is doing the right things on the pitch and making good runs, but he isn’t receiving the ball from his teammates.
Hojlund’s initiative to demand better service may be the key to unlocking his potential and improving Manchester United’s attack.