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’.



  1. The Tea Lady has just had knee surgery and she is expected to make a full return to duty.
    More details from the vaults of the peripheral United news wire. 😯

    • Remember those original two statements which gave the masses hours of laughter I made when I I started looking after the site?

      1. Content is king

      2. You can’t please all the people all the time.

      1. I think the content is king nowadays and it’s improving all the time.

      2. Many people on here constantly criticise the clubs Academy for a lack of talent production yet a post about a subject which in years to come will be discussed (either because it was great business or because it was a mistake) due to the likelihood Mats WILL be a top player one day gets a comment like that. Don’t get me wrong Rich I’m not having a go at it as I find it funny myself, it is however ironic and does confirm point number 2.

      • @Ian: erm, not all content is created equal though.

        Audience has to factor into the equation somehow right?

        bleh, that’s marketing talk and i’d rather talk United.

        You used to run an academy site right Ian? have you watched this kid play?

        • @Jonny: I watched him about 12 months and tbh I’m really surprised he’s gone, so are a few players/staff at United. Thing is though, if the lad prefers a transfer ahead of a loan what can the club do? His chances at United have been (very) limited whereas Adnan Januzaj has been handed a full season in the reserves one season before he should even be with them. Sometimes you have to wonder if it’s your face or your football that gets you in a team!

          Januzaj’s rapid progression has raised a few eyebrows and put a few noses out of joint, those noses must have been bent over double when the lad was voted Player of the Year!

          The first time I watch Adnan was away at Wolves 2yrs ago and he looked good but not special enough to receive the treatment he has. Daehli however, has the balance that belongs to a gymnast with a footballing brain beyond his youth, despite that he remained in the youth setup while Adnan ‘s been treated like royalty. Did this have any bearing on Mats’ decision? No idea, but I can understand why a few players aren’t happy.

          The way I see it:

          Mats gets a cut of the transfer, he gets first team football, he gets to go back home, gets the same wages as he would at United and above all else gets to work with his friend and hero Solskjaer……what would you do?

  2. I read somewhere that United have a buy-back clause which can be triggered anytime (Although preferably not for two years atleast). IF Daehli goes anywhere from Molde, its ONLY United.

  3. If he is so good why on earth aren’t we just sending him on loan? I hardly feel we are that desperate for £1.5M. Even if we have a first option to buy him back he will be ten times the price if he turns out to be any good. We haven’t been scared to loan out players like Cleverley for a few seasons. OK he lacks experience. But we signed Smalling on the back of non-league football and half a season at Fulham for about £10 million. Even if we have a buy back clause you can bet it will be set considerably higher than £1.5M. Which makes my original point still stand. Just loan the player out and see if he can maintain the rapid progress. If his progress stalls and we feel we can’t keep farming him out on loan only then should we consider selling with some sort of option to buy

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