Newcastle United have been linked with signing Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta this summer, and the young striker proved why he is a man in demand on Thursday night.
Hojlund made his third appearance for Denmark in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Finland, with his nation winning 3-1.
It was the 20-year-old’s first ever Denmark start, and he capped it off with his first ever international goal. Then he got another, then another. On his first ever start for his country, Hojlund netted a hat-trick.
It is an incredible introduction to international football for Hojlund, who showed off how lethal he is in the penalty area during the win over Finland. Each goal showcased his instinctive nature inside the box, and his performance has earned him rave reviews in Denmark.
Rasmus Hojlund likened to former Newcastle striker
The national media in Denmark were delighted with Hojlund’s performance, as they have been waiting a long time for a striker like him.
They have boasted a great squad in recent years, but have lacked a forward with that killer instinct in front of goal. Now they believe they have found it in Hojlund.
Danish website CPH Post have waxed lyrical about Hojlund, and they believe the youngster is exactly what they have been waiting for.
They wrote: “It would appear that Denmark finally has that long-lost number nine: a real goal-getter who’s clinical in the box and can score with his head or toe. Really, he’s the type of player who has been missing from the Danish squad probably as far back as Jon Dahl Tomasson.”
Jon Dahl Tomasson is currently the manager of Championship side Blackburn Rovers, and it is a name that Toon fans will remember.
The former striker represented Newcastle during the 90s, playing for Kenny Dalglish’s side. He was signed from Heerenveen in 1997, spending one season on Tyneside. He made 35 appearances in total, scoring four goals.
Tomasson was much more prolific for his country, and remains Denmark’s joint top scorer with 52 goals from 112 caps.
Hojlund proves why the Magpies want to sign him
Hojlund will be eyeing that record, while Newcastle are possibly eyeing a deal to bring him to Tyneside.
He was a player who Toon scouts were watching over the summer, but a move failed to materialise. Instead, he swapped Sturm Graz for Serie A side Atalanta. He is doing well in Italy, and currently has eight goals in all competitions for his new club.
At 20-year-old, he clearly has scope to get even better, and that is perhaps why Newcastle continue to be linked.
The Chronicle claimed that Steve Nickson has been scouting Hojlund recently, while Tutto Atalanta have claimed that Newcastle are prepared to pay £44million to bring him to St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe is in the market for a new striker this summer, and Hojlund’s international exploits might convince the Magpies that he is the man for the job.