MU’s Preseason Update: Hojlund’s Debut Delayed, and the Cautionary Tale of the ‘New Manager Effect

MU’s Preseason Update: Hojlund’s Debut Delayed, and the Cautionary Tale of the ‘New Manager Effect

Manchester United (MU) is in a rush to prepare for the start of the 2023/24 Premier League season. This season holds significant importance for the “Red Devils,” and fans are hopeful that everything goes smoothly under the guidance of manager Ten Hag. Rasmus Hojlund, a young forward, was introduced at Old Trafford before the match against Lens on August 5th. However, despite his introduction, Hojlund hasn’t played a single minute yet due to injury, preventing him from training normally with the first team.

Recent images of Hojlund show that the young forward, for whom MU paid a hefty €75 million fee to acquire from Atalanta, has arrived at Carrington for training. However, instead of participating in regular training sessions, Hojlund can only engage in individual sessions with the club’s fitness experts due to his ongoing recovery.

According to sources, MU won’t have Hojlund available during the initial phase of the season. Manchester Evening News reports that MU isn’t rushing Hojlund’s debut. Coach Erik Ten Hag already has alternative personnel plans for the early part of the season, and it’s entirely possible that the 20-year-old Danish striker might not feature until September.

Despite this, MU’s attacking line is functioning smoothly. Key players like Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Antony, and Jadon Sancho have performed well during the preseason. Hence, there’s no urgency to rush Hojlund into action.

MU Cautious of the “New Manager Effect”

Nevertheless, MU should be wary of Wolverhampton Wanderers in their opening match of the 2023/24 Premier League season on August 15th at 2:00 AM. Wolverhampton recently caused a major shock by parting ways with manager Julen Lopetegui and appointing young manager Gary O’Neil. Wolverhampton’s decision to appoint Gary O’Neil as the youngest-ever manager at the age of 40 is a historic move for the club. He also becomes the first English manager to lead the team since Terry Connor in 2012.

For MU, this news isn’t favorable, given their history with the “new manager effect.” In the 2022/23 campaign, the “Red Devils” struggled against opponents experiencing a managerial change. An example of this was their encounter with Sevilla in the Europa League.

During that season, Sevilla went through three different managers. When they faced MU, they had just appointed Jose Luis Mendilibar as their manager. Mendilibar shocked everyone by guiding Sevilla to a 5-2 victory over MU in the quarter-finals. Riding on this success, Sevilla went on to defeat Juventus in the semi-finals and Roma in the final to claim the championship.

Hoan Le