Rasmus Højlund, the new Danish nugget who made Duván Zapata forget


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The summer was hot on the Sturm Graz side and Rasmus Højlund was no stranger to it. Danish player who arrived from Copenhagen six months earlier for 1.8 million euros, the 19-year-old striker had taken his training last year to a brilliant second place behind the untouchable Red Bull Salzburg (6 goals and 1 offering in 13 matches). A quick acclimatization to Austrian football quickly outgrew him. Starting on a similar basis with 6 goals and 3 offerings in 8 matches with Sturm Graz, he was recruited quite confidentially by Atalanta at the very end of the transfer window. A high transfer, however, since with 17 million euros spent by the Dea, he became the 13th biggest sale in the championship, his 12 predecessors all coming from RB Salzburg. Quite a sum for a player who is certainly efficient, but still very perfectible and who still had a lot to show.

“Yes I am very happy of course, Atalanta is a great club and the last few days have been intense, but I am really very happy to be here now. For me the style of play is important like playing with a lot of good players. The latter are from the academy or have come to Atalanta to take a step and I register as such. I want success at the club and hopefully I can help with my speed, power and left foot finishing. I can score a lot of goals here, I’m a very positive person, I’m very happy to be here and I’m always going to do my best.”, he explained as soon as he arrived. Declarations of intentions that were followed by actions over the start of the season. Having become an international parallel with Denmark, he was able to play against Croatia (2-1 defeat) and France (2-0 victory), but just missed participating in the World Cup. Because if he changed his status, he took a long time to register in the collective of Gian Piero Gasperini.

To read
Italian Cup: Atalanta ride against La Spezia and qualify for the quarter-finals

Scorer in four games in a row

Scorer in his second match against Monza (2-0), Rasmus Højlund initially had an interesting joker role, but struggled to convert that with other goals. While the offensive sector is carried by Ademola Lookman (9 goals and 3 assists in 17 games), the poor forms of Duvan Zapata (1 goal and 2 offerings in 13 games) and Luis Muriel (1 goal and 2 offerings in 11 games ) allowed Rasmus Højlund to get his chance again. And the least we can say is that he is in the process of seizing it. Came against Spezia (2-2) following the injury of Duvan Zapata, he allowed his team to turn the tide. Holder in the next match against Bologna (2-1), it was he who snatched the victory for the Dea. A positive dynamic welcomed by his trainer Gian Piero Gasperini.

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“He has an extraordinary margin, the development he has had in recent months… He had to get into matches right away, he is nineteen. He’s incredibly generous, he has a desire to get results, he fired up the fans against Spezia. Today he had a sensational match, technically he has the margin, in the air he can do well there too given his build. He can be a future top striker.”explained the Italian technician for DAZN. Words that were followed a few days later by those of Tony d’Amico. The Dea sporting director affirmed the importance of Rasmus Højlund in the eyes of the transalpine club before challenging Salernitana: “more than a bet, Højlund is a big investment strongly desired by the club. He has great room for improvement and with Gasperini he can become very strong.”

On the pitch, he once again distinguished himself against the Granata in an 8-2 victory. Scorer and decisive passer, he continues his momentum and begins to make a name for himself in Serie A. Former Italian player passed by Torino and Lazio, Luca Marchegiani, did not fail to greet on the set of Sky SportsAtalanta’s risk-taking and the Dea’s confidence in the young Dane: “The mission of Italian football at the moment is to find profiles like Højlund. Obviously, you have to spend something, you can no longer find good players for free, like maybe 10 years ago. In the Italian Cup, this Thursday, he again made the powder speak in a 5-2 victory against Spezia which confirms his good momentum. After a disappointing eighth place last year, Atalanta are doing better. Admittedly only sixth, the formation of Bergamo remains nevertheless in ambush at three points of the podium. And Rasmus Højlund is no stranger to this beautiful dynamic.

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