Who is Omari Forson? Age, contract status of Man United’s Rasmus Hojlund replacement against Fulham

Manchester United are unbeaten in 2024, thanks in large part to the prolific form of first-choice striker Rasmus Hojlund.

The Denmark international took until his 15th Premier League appearance to score his first goal in England’s top flight against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

He scored in each of the five league games since, culminating in a match-winning brace at Luton Town last time out.

However, manager Erik ten Hag confirmed that Hojlund would miss Saturday’s home game against Fulham. In response, he has handed a first Premier League start to academy graduate Omari Forson.

MORE: Man United vs Fulham live score, result, updates, highlights, lineups as Omari Forson starts first Premier League game

Who is Omari Forson?

Forson joined United in July 2022 from Tottenham and was part of their 2022 FA Youth Cup-winning team. 

He is the latest graduate of that side to be handed a Premier League start, lining up alongside Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho.

The 19-year-old only made his first-team debut as a substitute against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup last month, but has impressed Ten Hag and was name-checked by the Dutchman at his press conference on the eve of the Fulham game.

Forson was on the bench for United’s previous five Premier League games and laid on an assist for Mainoo’s winner when he made his debut during the closing stages of the rollercoaster 4-3 win at Wolves.

However, his total of senior minutes tallied seven from three appearances before Saturday, meaning Ten Hag’s call to start the youngster against Fulham feels like a sizeable one.

What position does Omari Forson play? What is his squad number?

Forson is a versatile attacker, most comfortable playing out wide.

As such, he is not a like-for-like replacement for Hojlund and was expected to fill in on the left wing as Marcus Rashford takes on centre-forward duties.

He wears squad number 62.

Why did Omari Forson start for Man United against Fulham?

Put simply, Ten Hag has very limited options in attack after Hojlund joined Anthony Martial on the sidelines.

That means Rashford is his only viable senior option at centre-forward at present and Forson starting facilitates that move.

However, it is still a huge show of confidence given more senior wide attacking options in the form of Antony and Amad are on the bench.

Forson started the Fulham game on the right wing, with Garnacho switching to the left.

It is a situation Forson would undoubtedly have seen as unlikely even a couple of months ago before Ten Hag outcast Jadon Sancho was loaned back to Borussia Dortmund.

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MORE: Lineups, starting 11 for Man United vs Fulham: Omari Forson starts with Rasmus Hojlund out injured

Which country is Omari Forson from?

Forson was born in Hammersmith, London on July 20, 2004.

He has represented England at U15, U16, U19 and U20 level.

Like United team-mate Mainoo, he is also eligible to play for Ghana.

Omari Forson contract and transfer status

A subtext to Forson getting his chance against Fulham is the fact that his Old Trafford contract expires at the of this season.

If he can take his chance as Hojlund resides on the sidelines it could have a huge say over the immediate direction of his promising career.

MORE: Sir Jim Ratcliffe interview: Old Trafford redevelopment, Mason Greenwood plan and is Sheikh Jassim real?

How long is Rasmus Hojlund injured for?

United released a statement saying Hojlund would be absent for two to three weeks with a muscle injury, a prognosis Ten Hag later confirmed when he addressed the media.

It means the 21-year-old will not be around for the FA Cup fifth-round trip to Nottingham Forest on February 28 and is highly unlikely to feature in the Manchester derby at City on March 3.

Everton’s visit to Old Trafford on March 9 might be Hojlund’s most realistic return date considering what we know at this point.

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