Mats Daehli’s departure from Manchester United may not be the biggest transfer that happens this summer but in many regards, it could be the most surprising.
The 18-year-old was highly regarded at United and had been one of the U18s brightest stars last year but out of the blue, he decided to leave the club and move back to his native Norway to play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde.
He cited the necessity for first team football for his development as the reasoning behind his move and speaking to VG.no, the youngster admitted it was a move made with a heavy heart.
“Sure, it’s sad to leave United,” Daehli said.
“That was the big dream to play for them. But I had to think about my own development and, in the process, I came to the conclusion that Molde was right and it’s a choice I’m happy with.
“Here in Molde I will build myself up as a player and eventually become a first team starter.”
The good news for United fans is that we have placed a buy back clause into his contract with Molde that will allow us to buy Daehli back should we want to.
And working with Solskjaer could bring out the best in Daehli given that his presence as manager was a big pull for him making the Molde move.
“I know there may be some pressures on me and there may be some talk but I’ve just turned 18, so I will use the time I need to become the player I want to be.” Mats Daehli
He continued: “He’s had a lot to say for this transition. I’ve known Ole for a long time. He knows who I am and what I stand for, which is a security for me.
“I know there may be some pressures on me and there may be some talk but I’ve just turned 18, so I will use the time I need to become the player I want to be.”
Daehli’s natural ball playing ability make him a real talent. At U18s level, he was head and shoulders above the competition.
He gained his recognition and earned a call-up to Norway’s U19 squad and only missed out on a place in their U21 squad for the European Championship due to a clash of qualification fixtures.
I wish him the best of luck and working under Solskjaer with first team football should give Daehli the platform on which to showcase his talents on a weekly basis.
Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB Scanpix