Connect in the back of the net

Talented footballers seem to be growing thick and fast in Norway these days. 17-year-old Sander Svendsen, who The Guardian last year tipped to become “the next great Norwegian footballer”, has already received international plaudits for his talent.

On their list of the world’s greatest talents born in 1997, Svendsen was the only Norwegian player to be included by The Guardian. As a forward for Molde he is currently playing his third season in the highest division in Norway – and is considered a talent to watch in the coming years.

 

QUICK FACTS:

Name: Sander Svendsen
Date of birth: 06.08.1997 – Age: 17
Position: Forward
Club: Molde FK

 

Key strengths

With his great pace and excellent ball control he has already become a favourite among the locals in Molde. Norwegian pundits describe him as a ‘fearless and hard-working goal machine with a massive hunger to succeed’, while Norway’s Under-21 manager Leif Gunnar Smerud compares him to Argentina striker Carlos Tevez.

Molde captain Daniel Berg Hestad, who got his debut for the club four years before Svendsen was even born, believes the 17-year-old has all the attributes to make it at the highest level.

“The talent is clearly there. Sander is a wise and serious player, who is willing to listen. He will make it very far if he continues like this,” Hestad said according to The Guardian.

 

Stats

At the age of 15, Svendsen was handed his debut by former Cardiff City and Molde FK manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. He may only have got 10 minutes over two appearances in the 2013 season, but it was an introduction that kept the Molde fans on their toes over the winter break.

The following season he impressed in a Molde team that won Tippeligaen, scoring his first goal and becoming the youngest player in the history of Norwegian football to be crowned champion. With 12 appearances and 302 minutes he took another valuable step towards what is expected to be an impressive career.

After nurturing his talent in the previous two seasons, current Molde manager Tor Ole Skullerud gave Svendsen the opportunity to establish himself in the team – a chance the youngster grabbed with both hands.

He has started 10 of 14 matches so far this season, getting five goals and two assists to his name.

 

Interested clubs

Despite acknowledging his talents, not many clubs have shown a direct interest in Svendsen. The only club to step forward and express an interest in signing him is Ajax. Sander, along with his younger brother Tobias, has been in Amsterdam to train with Ajax on multiple occasions.

Multiple clubs across Europe are monitoring the brothers closely and a move abroad might be on the cards sooner rather than later.

 

Written by Lars H. Thomesen

Follow Lars on Twitter @LarsHT

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