When top clubs across Europe last season were scouting Strømsgodset’s Martin Ødegaard they could all report back with two fantastic talents at the Norwegian club.
Ødegaard was the first to leave Drammen in Norway and the question now is when – and not if – Iver Fossum will follow in his childhood friend’s footsteps.
Name: Iver Fossum
Age: 19 – D.O.B: 15 July 1996
Fossum and Ødegaard were two of the Tippeligaen 2014 season’s greatest attractions. As the latter left for greater challenges in Madrid in January, Fossum emerged as the biggest talent at one of Norway’s best clubs the last few years.
The 19-year-old has all it takes to make it at the top level. His ability to read the game compliments his skills, which as a combination is hugely beneficial for Strømsgodset and of great importance in their attacking plan.
In fact, Fossum has become the key man in their attacking play, distributing and moving the ball around with great accuracy and pace.
As well as having a great first touch and passing abilities, his stamina allows him to cover great distances over the 90 minutes. Having played in the infamous number 10 role for the majority of his first full season, he was moved a little deeper for the 2015 season.
This allowed him to fully make use of his close technique both at pace and in tight spaces, taking on and passing opposing players with ease.
It also allowed him to use his intelligence on the pitch to arrive in the box in the second wave of attack and add goals to his game through his cool finishing.
Fossum was introduced to Tippeligaen back in 2013 with four appearances and 62 minutes to his name. However brief that was, he managed to play his way into a regular first team spot for his second season, appearing in 26 matches and scoring three goals.
With more pressure and expectations to his name for his third season, Fossum dedicated much of the winter break to work even harder, which seems to have paid off for the current season. He has started every game for Strømsgodset this season and has seven goals and four assists.
At 19 he is in constant development, and his hard work and the trust shown in him by the coaching staff and teammates in Drammen seems to have worked wonders.
At VG – Norway’s biggest newspaper – he is fourth in the overall player rankings list for the season so far. He is also the only Strømsgodset player in the top 20.
As soon as Ødegaard signed for Real Madrid, rumours emerged that the Spaniards also were interested in signing Fossum. Also other top clubs across Europe in England, Germany and Spain are monitoring the teenager’s development.
It is likely that Fossum will complete the current Tippeligaen season that finishes in early November, but a move abroad is likely to happen in January 2016.
As former Strømsgodset manager David Nielsen said last August: “No one realises that the clubs that are here to watch Martin Ødegaard head home with Iver in their notes, as well.”
Written by Lars H. Thomesen
Follow Lars on Twitter @LarsHT
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