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The average age of a goalkeeper in the Norwegian top division is 27 years, but at Odd BK a 19-year-old is performing so well that he is being hailed as the biggest Norwegian keeper talent since Tottenham legend Erik Thorstvedt.
Name: Sondre Rossbach
D.O.B: 07 February 1996
Club: Odd BK
His name is Sondre Rossbach, son of former Norway international Einar Rossbach, and potentially the red, white and blue’s next goalkeeping export to the European limelight.
After selling their first choice goalkeeper of the last couple of seasons this winter, Odd head coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo was in no doubt that Rossbach was up for the task as the club’s number one.
There is something about a young goalkeeper that has learned the art of his job from young age. The natural abilities are unquestionable, but his ambition and willingness to dedicated hard work day after day is perhaps what makes him stand out from the rest.
In addition, former Norway manager Nils Johan Semb is impressed with the 19-year-old’s qualities, and recently expressed his delight with Rossbach’s quality at such young age.
“He is technically great with decent reactions, solid physique and a brave style which makes him handle pressure with ease. He has come far in his development”, Semb said.
His coach, Fagermo, goes further and compares him to Norway and Tottenham legend Erik Thorstvedt.
“He is the biggest keeper talent we have had since Thorstvedt,” Fagermo said of the goalkeeper that was active between 1980 and 1996, finishing his career at White Hart Lane with over 200 appearances for the lilywhites.
The latter’s praise his huge for a country that has produced goalkeepers like Thomas Myhre, Frode Grodås and Frode Olsen, all shot-stoppers with bags of experience at the top level in England and Spain.
Rossbach made his Tippeliga debut back in 2013, at only 17, and got seven appearances in his first season with the first team. The following season he got another three matches, before claiming the number one shirt ahead of the on-going season.
So far he’s started all 20 games in the current campaign, doing his business well.
So far Rossbach has not been involved in international football on senior level, though with performances like he has had so far this season, it can only be a question of time.
It has been a quiet summer so far surrounding Rossbach, who admitted that he would turn down an offer from any club at this stage of his career.
“At the moment I think I’d stay at Odd. As a 19-year-old you have to look long and hard to find a better stage to develop than here in Skien”, he said.
The question he faced was understandable, as he at 15 and 16 was an ankle injury away from signing for Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson invited him to Carrington and he was offered a contract with the club, one he admittedly would have accepted at the time hadn’t it been for the injury he suffered.
However the Red Devils are told to still be monitoring his development and with goalkeepers such as David de Gea, Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard on their way out the Old Trafford gates, there might just be an opening for Rossbach to finally seal his dream move to the Premier League by this time next year.
Time will tell.
Written by Lars H. Thomesen
Follow Lars on Twitter @LarsHT
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