Rasmus Hojlund’s form has been the ideal Christmas present for Manchester United fans.
Despite tearing the Champions League to bits, it took until Boxing Day for the £73million summer signing to break his Premier League duck, and he hasn’t looked back since.
After five goals in six games in Europe, the 21-year-old’s fine work was undone as United crashed out at the group stage.
That focused attention on his lack of domestic production, which has now taken off.
In tears after scoring a late winner against Aston Villa to open his Premier League account on December 26, the Dane has impressively kept things going.
It’s now five goals in five games from that match onwards, with his latest helping United overcome Villa again, this time at Old Trafford.
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And he’s the youngest ever players to achieve that feat.
He also racked up two assists in that spell, while making it 11 goals in all competitions by putting away his first in the FA Cup.
Yet despite the early doubts over whether he could make it, United legend and countryman Peter Schmeichel hasn’t been at all surprised.
He told talkSPORT: “It was only two-and-a-half years ago that he was in the Copenhagen squad and they signed another striker and they told him to go back to the Under 19s.
“Sturm Graz came in for him and said ‘we’ve got to give you first team football’ he took it and the first seven months there, nine months at Atalanta after and now he’s at Manchester United.
“It’s gone really, really quick for him, but at no point have I been in any doubt that this lad is the real deal, he’s got everything in his locker, he poaches goals, his movement…
“I’ve seen this for a year now since he broke into the Danish team. You know when you see something which is very, very special that doesn’t come along very often? That’s what I’ve seen in him.”
Former Premier League manager Alan Pardew also admitted he’s now convinced, with the talkSPORT host saying: “Everyone in the game now knows that this lad is the real deal.
“It’s just my opinion that it’s still too soon for him really to take that role as Man United’s number, but he’s got his goals and hopefully he can kick on.”
One person who also isn’t surprised is his manager, Erik ten Hag, who paid the highest transfer fee of his career to bring the striker in from Serie A.
“He is a great character, he always keeps going and he always wants to improve,” the Dutchman explained.
“You see now and how the team is better and more stable now we’re serving the frontline better, he’s started scoring and you see there’s something growing with Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Bruno [Fernandes] and [Alejandro] Garnacho, also other players from the second and the third line.
“He’s now more in a position to score but I can tell you it’s not easy for a striker when you have high expectations from yourself and also the outside world to fulfil that.
“When it’s not working he has the character every striker needs, he gets angry, he gets mad when he’s not scoring and that’s why we selected him, he has a resilience and a calmness to perform under that stress, he doesn’t have any moments where he wants to give up, he keeps going.”