Meet Arsenal and Real Madrid transfer target Rasmus Hojlund, who is called the 'next Haaland' and stars for Atalanta | The Sun

Meet Arsenal and Real Madrid transfer target Rasmus Hojlund, who is called the 'next Haaland' and stars for Atalanta | The Sun

IN Serie A this season a powerhouse of a 20-year-old has taken the league by storm.

A great Dane, if ever there was one, Rasmus Hojlund has left defenders quaking in their boots with his frightening combination of strength and electric pace.

The 6ft4in forward, who has been likened to Erling Haaland, has scored seven goals in his debut campaign for Atalanta, following a £15million summer move from Austria's Sturm Graz.

Naturally, he is now being linked with Europe's top club – the latest being Arsenal and Real Madrid, who are keeping tabs on the youngster.

And he isn't the first footballing Hojlund in his family.

Family affair

Football is most certainly in the Hojlunds' blood.

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Dad Anders was a journeyman forward in Denmark, but was never capped by his country.

And brothers Oscar and Emil are coming through the ranks at FC Copenhagen.

But it's the senior son, Rasmus, who is rising first and rising fast.

Like his siblings, the wonderkid began at FC Copenhagen – making his debut in 2020.

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In the 2021-22 season, he exploded on to the scene – scoring five goals during the Danish side's Europa Conference League campaign.

That convinced Austrian Bundesliga club Sturm Graz to pay around £1.5million for him in January 2022.

He hit the ground running and scored six times in 13 games.

Hojlund began this season in Austria, scoring a further six goals in eight games before Atalanta made the plunge to bring him to Italy.

He had been with Graz just seven months before La Dea paid a staggering £15million to sign him.

It's an investment that will surely pay dividends in the future.

Making his name

Hojlund got off to a flier again – scoring against Monza just nine days after joining the club.

Former Italy international Antonio Cassano sweepingly put him in the same sentence as Man City ace Erling Haaland.

"If you think about who he resembles, Haaland quickly comes to mind, but I like Hojlund and I don't like Haaland", Cassano stated.

His legendary manager Gian Piero Gasperini also praised the talent, as well as his incredible speed.

"The characteristics are very similar, especially in accelerations," Gasperini said.

"He is a very fast player, he does the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds.

"For his height, he has a low centre of gravity and an incredible stride frequency.

"I'm convinced he will have a great career. Technically, he always shows different and better things".

Investment for the future

As a selling club, Atalanta know Hojlund will have to go if the right price is offered.

And with clubs with plenty of financial muscle already circling around the Gewiss Stadium, it's inevitable he will move on again.

A fee of £40million has been suggested in the Italian media, and Atalanta see Hojlund as an investment who will pay off in the near future.

"More than a gamble, Hojlund is a great investment that the club very much wants,"  Tony D'Amico, sporting director for the club, explained.

"Few players from 2003 have this amount of playing time in Italy.

"He has great room for improvement and, with Gasperini, he can become very strong."

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With his current contract running until 2027, that puts Atalanta in the driving seat to demand a huge transfer fee.

Expect to hear much more from the two-cap Denmark star before the end of the season.

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