West Ham United star Michail Antonio has admitted that he has always been an admirer of Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund even when he was struggling to break his duck in the Premier League.
Hojlund – who arrived at United in the summer from Atalanta – had to wait for some time to open his goalscoring account in England’s top flight despite being prolific in the Champions League before the club’s elimination from the competition.
He scored his first Premier League goal during a 3-2 comeback win against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
Since then, the Dane has not looked back and is currently one of his side’s most in-form players.
Hojlund found the back of the net in sublime fashion during the Red Devils’ 3-0 win vs. the Hammers on Sunday. He picked up the ball 20 yards out and ran at goal. He turned inside Aguerd before driving the ball into the bottom-left corner with his right-foot.
The 21-year-old has now scored four in as many Premier League matches.
Antonio spoke to Sky Sports [via The Daily Mail] and waxed lyrical about the United talisman.
“To be fair I liked what I saw at the beginning the season. ‘Obviously you rate strikers on scoring goals, but it’s not about just scoring goals, it’s about what you bring as well to the team and he brings a physicality, he’s been able to get other people involved, he’s a willing runner, and now obviously scoring the goals.”
“The goal the scored yesterday was quality, the fake shot dragged onto his weak right foot, into the bottom corner, great strike through the ball. I really rate him.”
“The one thing with a striker is people are always going to look at you to score the goals, and there’s going to be a time you only human where you’re going to be without the goals. But as long as you believe in yourself, you’ve got self-belief and you know that when you get an opportunity you’re going to take it, and when you take it you feel like you’re going to go on a run, that’s the most important thing.”
Antonio added, “A centre forward is being able to bring players into the game, run in behind, and as a striker you’re meant to get goals, but it’s being the whole complete package instead of just getting goals because it’s a team sport at the end of the day and the team’s meant to help as well.”
The West Ham man insisted that it’s important for a striker to exercise control and not get overwhelmed while experiencing a dry patch.
Hojlund will undoubtedly be looking to make his mark once more when United take on Aston Villa on Sunday.