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Academy star departs for first team football

Daehli 2nd v WBA Nov 11Norwegian starlet Mats Daehli has left Manchester United in a transfer deal worth £1.5 Million to Molde where he’ll join up with United legend, Olé Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fellow countryman Solskjaer was instrumental in bringing the exciting Scandinavian midfielder to the club when he recommended Daehli to Sir Alex Ferguson in February 2011.

Daehli quickly became a favourite amongst Academy observers with many instantly commenting on his obvious ability. Daehli went on to win the much coveted Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award in his first season.

So impressed and eager were United to keep their hands on Daehli, they tied the teenager up on a professional contract on his 17th birthday.

The transfer will come as a shock to many as Daehli is widely regarded as one of the best talents within the Academy with many admirers tipping him for a bright future.

Speaking about his move, Daehli said “I’m very proud and happy. It has been a process, but this is a very good solution for me. I’ll start training tomorrow and try to show that I deserve to play”

There is however good reason to believe this isn’t a mistake by the club or another potential first team player slipping through the net thanks to limited first team opportunities.

In other cases (such as Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison) departures were due in part to more than just football reasons. Mats however, has never given any cause for concern and leaves the club on good terms, so one must therefore presume he leaves with a ‘first option clause’ written into his contract to return to United in years to come.

The two clubs have good links and Solskjaer no doubt has a terrific relationship with Mats and obviously United. Therefore Daehli has the best chance possible to receive the right treatment, training and opportunities to accelerate his progression. So before anyone jumps on the ‘we’ve let another one get away’ bandwagon, the chance to provide Daehli with this via first team football – including at European level – rather than with United’s Reserves, is one the club and player are right to secure on just a 2-and-a-half year deal.

If Daehli impresses and DOES progress as predicted, then United will be in pole position to regain his services. It’s a win-win situation so good luck to the lad, good luck to Molde and good luck to Olé.

I’m sure most United fans were already preparing to keep an eye on Molde’s progress next season, now that motivation should have been increased. Definitely another ‘One-to-Watch’.