Manchester United Have Lost Rasmus Hojlund To Injury In A Brutal Blwo To The Red Devils

Having already lost Luke Shaw to what appears a season-ending injury, Erik ten Hag's problems worsened on Friday when star striker Rasmus Hojlund joined his team-mate in the treatment room.

Manchester United announced that Hojlund, who has been the most in-form striker in the Premier League since Christmas Day, is out for up to three weeks with a muscle strain. 

Anthony Martial is already out following groin surgery, leaving United without a recognised striker until Hojlund returns.

It is a devastating blow to Ten Hag to lose Hojlund, who was on a run of eight goals in his last eight games following his brace in the 2-1 win at Luton.

United are now going to have to get creative to cope with the race for the top four, which sees them fighting with Aston Villa and Tottenham, leaving little margin for error now. 

The Dane is set to miss up to five games, starting with Fulham's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday followed by the FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest, the Manchester derby and the league games against Everton and Sheffield United.

Hojlund's form has played a major role in United's turnaround in their season. The last game he missed, at Forest at the end of December, was the last time United lost.

The upturn has revived Ten Hag's hopes of a top-four finish as well as a good run in the FA Cup after an injury-hit first half of the season.

His injury means he joins Mason Mount, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martinez, Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the sidelines. 

It is not just the absence of Hojlund which hurts United, it is that his absence will lead to a reshuffle across the attack. 

With Hojlund through the middle, Marcus Rashford off the left and Alejandro Garnacho deployed down the right, United have played seven, won six and drawn once. 

In six Premier League games together, United have scored 16 goals with that trio leading the line, working out to an average of 2.67 per game. 

With any other attacking combination - used in 28 matches - United have lost 14 times, winning on 12 occasions and drawing the other two with 19 goals from 19 Premier League games.  

And so Ten Hag now needs to find a system that does not disrupt the rhythm they have found since the turn of the year. He can ill-afford to see Hojlund's absence decimate the good work done in recent weeks.