Reported Arsenal target Rasmus Hojlund has been likened to Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
Atalanta and Denmark striker Hojlund moved to Italy from Austrian side Sturm Graz for €17.2million last summer.
The 20-year-old has impressed this season, scoring 14 goals and providing five assists in 33 matches across all competitions.
His form this year has been particularly impressive. Hojlund netted in his first three Serie A fixtures since the turn of the year and came off the bench to score a crucial late winner against Empoli last Friday.
Given his position, height (6ft 2), name, appearance and the fact he is from a Scandinavian country, Hojlund has been compared to Norwegian superstar Haaland.
Former Leeds United player Mike Grella has said the comparisons should be taken “very lightly” but believes Hojlund “can do more than Haaland”.
“I will take the comparison with Haaland very lightly, because he is one of the best,” Grella explained.
“There is also a slight difference between them, which speaks in Hojlund’s favour.
“He can do more than Haaland. Haaland is more the type who duels with the centre-backs and just scores lots of goals.
“Hojlund can dribble past an opponent. He can keep the ball better. Hojlund can better help the team on the edge (of the penalty box) or deeper in the pitch.”
The young striker’s former boss at Sturm Graz has bought into the comparisons, however.
“There can be a comparison between Rasmus and Erling Haaland,” Ilzer said. “In some characteristics, they are similar.
“Both are very fast, they also share determination and the desire to always score. Both Hojlund and Haaland are two very positive youngsters and have great confidence in their abilities.”
Ilzer believes that Hojlund is “ready” to make the move to a bigger club, with Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United all reportedly keen.
“I’m really happy that Hojlund managed to adapt so quickly to Serie A and became an important player for Atalanta,” he added.
“I think he is probably already ready to move to an even more important club. However, we must always remember that he is 20.
“I think that, in Bergamo, he has a coach like [Gian Piero] Gasperini who believes in him a lot. He can count on a team that has been doing really well for years. And therefore it wouldn’t be bad for Hojlund to stay at Atalanta.
“Indeed, he can further confirm his potential and become one of the best strikers in Serie A.
“I think that remaining with (Atalanta) is a positive thing for his growth. No matter what happens, Rasmus’ rise to become a top European forward will not stop.”
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Not only can Hojlund “do more than Haaland”, but the 20-year-old is also “better than” Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic – who was a top target for Arsenal last winter – and is “worth £70m”.
“Hojlund is really impressive. Better than Vlahovic,” former Vicenza, Lecce and Cagliari striker Jeda claims.
“He can still grow a lot. He’s worth £70million in my opinion. In terms of characteristics, he has something more (than Vlahovic).
“Dusan has a problem in his mind, a mental one. As a former striker, I see it like this; I prefer Hojlund.”
Another person who has been high in praise of Hojlund – who has been dubbed the ‘young Zlatan Ibrahomivic’ – is Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini.
“Hojlund has this spirit, energy, intensity, but also technical quality that is just remarkable,” Gasperini said.
“He still has so much margin for improvement, too. He has very similar characteristics to Haaland. Not just his face! He is so quick. He’s under 11 seconds over 100m and that’s not even trying very hard.
“Considering his height, he has a low centre of gravity and can move his legs very fast. I am convinced he’ll have a great career. He just gets stronger every day.”
A February report from Italian outlet La Repubblica stated that Arsenal are preparing a ‘monstrous offer’ for Hojlund.
As well as Arsenal, it is believed that European champions Real Madrid are tracking the Danish striker.
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