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Rasmus Hojlund had less than 20 senior appearances to his name as a fledging Copenhagen prospect, this time two years ago. On Saturday, he is expected to start the first of many Manchester United games before 74,000 fans when Brighton and Hove Albion visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Hojlund is set to replace Anthony Martial in Erik ten Hag’s starting lineup for what will be a tough test against Roberto De Zerbi’s high-flying Seagulls.
The 20-year-old striker carried a minor back injury when he arrived at United but made his debut off the bench in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal before featuring twice for Denmark during the international break.
Hojlund’s rapid rise is the stuff of a fairytale, and a video has emerged that shows where the boyhood United fan stood in his career in 2021.
EA Sports FIFA YouTuber Danny Aarons posted a clip on TikTok earlier this week showing that he had ghosted a private Instagram message from Hojlund in September 2021.
The 6ft 5in Dane was just 18 when he sent the message on September 21, 2021, and had played just 20 times for the Copenhagen first team, scoring three times.
His FIFA 22 player card resembled his senior-level inexperience, rating him as a 55 non-rare bronze, the lowest level a player can receive in the popular video game.
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And Aarons has revealed that Hojlund – presumably a viewer of his YouTube videos – messaged him on social media to complain.
“Hey mate, look at this s***ty card of mine [crying laughter emoji],” the new United No 11 joked.
Hojlund’s core stats (out of 99) included 70 pace, 51 shooting, 61 passing, 58 dribbling, 19 defending and 52 physical.
Two years and 24 goals for Copenhagen, Sturm Graz and Atalanta later, Hojlund has become the most expensive striker in United’s history at £72million.
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And his new card in EA’s latest instalment, EA FC 24, which is released later this month, has taken his meteoric rise into account.
Hojlund’s new card is a rare gold, rated 76. He boasts 85 pace, 75 shooting, 55 passing, 74 dribbling, 29 defending and 78 physical.
With Jadon Sancho and Antony out of contention, Erik ten Hag will be desperate for Hojlund to quickly contribute to goals at United.
Marcus Rashford carried the burden last season, netting a career-best 30 times, but fans should receive a first glimpse of the duo starting together this weekend.
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