LONDON — Denmark’s Manchester United pair Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen have withdrawn from the squad for their next two Euro 2024 qualifiers with muscle and knee injuries that will keep them out until late November and for a month respectively.
Second-placed Denmark, who face Slovenia on Friday and Northern Ireland on Monday, are level on 19 points with Group H leaders Slovenia. The Danes will qualify if they beat Slovenia.
Hojlund was replaced near the end of United’s 1-0 Premier League win over Luton Town on Saturday while Eriksen went off in the first half.
The 20-year-old Hojlund scored twice in United’s 4-3 loss away to Copenhagen FC in the Champions League last Wednesday.
Erik ten Hag’s team is sixth in the Premier League standings after their worst start to a season since 1962, Reuters reported.
Hojlund and Eriksen picked up their injuries during United’s Premier League fixture against Luton – which the Red Devils ended up winning 1-0 thanks to a goal from Victor Lindelof in the 59th minute.
United has now issued an update on the condition of the two first-team players and revealed Eriksen has a knee injury while Hojlund is suffering from a muscle strain.
An official statement on the club’s website stated: “Christian has a knee injury that is set to keep him out for around a month, while striker Rasmus suffered a muscle strain. It is hoped he will return before the end of November.”
The blow will be of concern to United manager Erik ten Hag who has relied on both players in recent games, with Hojlund the figurehead of his attack.
Similarly, Eriksen has started the club’s last four matches in all competitions but now appears set for an extended period out of action until December at the earliest.
Hojlund might be available for United’s first game back after the international break against Everton on November 26 before travelling to face Galatasaray in the Champions League three days later.
Hojlund will be eager to return to action as quick as possible after making an explosive start in the Champions League for the Red Devils scoring five goals in four games.
However, he is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League and might now have a wait on his hands to break his goal drought in the top-flight – after making nine appearances to date.
His absence could hand Anthony Martial a chance to start his first top-flight match since Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over the Red Devils at the start of September, however, his appearances haven’t always been welcomed by supporters.
Eriksen’s injury could also pave a way into a starting role for Mason Mount who has struggled for consistent minutes since joining in a £60m summer transfer from Chelsea.
Mount has been limited to substitute appearances in recent matches with Ten Hag still attempting to find a settled midfield after difficulties this season.