Tonight, Mats Daehli made his first appearance for Norway’s U21s squad in a 2-1 victory over Russia despite being only 17 years old.
He came on just after the hour mark and impressed in his 30 minute cameo against a tiring ten man Russian side, especially considering he was the youngest player on the pitch.
Daehli only received the call-up after being heavily involved in Norway’s U19s 3-2 victory over Turkey earlier in the week and it has certainly been an impressive few days for the youngster.
Hailed as one of the greatest talents to come out of Norway, expectations are sky high for Daehli and what he can possibly achieve.
Speaking to VG Nett after the game, Daehli said: “This was really fun. It was important that we grinded out the victory.”
Only this week, Norway’s U19s manager Oivind said that Daehli “sets the standard” in creativity and judging from Twitter, he did just that in his performance tonight.
FAFiltvedt, a Norwegian United supporter who watched the game, heaped praise on Daehli: “Wanted the ball all of the time; agile, flexible and fearless; reminiscent of Iniesta”. High praise indeed.
The 17-year-old is highly coveted in the United academy and last year, he earned the coveted Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year Award in recognition for his excellent play that season.
Much of him is expected this year in the academy and seeing how well he coped playing internationally at U21s level, I’d expect to see him a few times with United’s U21s in the Elite Group stage of their Premier League.