The Scout takes a long look at the 15 year oldAi??A?degaard, a target for Manchester United and Liverpool, more likely to sign for Bayern Munich.

With transferAi??rumoursAi??an every day affair these days, and with scouting reports about the “newest kid on the block” a daily occurrence, it is inevitable to see tabloids and media splashed with fresh faces, newer talent and yet newer promises. However, once in a while comes a talent that gets you to rise from your seat and let out a low whistle of amazement. One such talent is the prodigious 15 year old Norwegian midfielder MartinAi??A?degaard.

In his first season at senior level football, the left footed A?degaardAi??plays for the Norwegian teamAi??StomgodsetAi??in theAi??Tippeligaen. Making his professional debut forAi??StomgodsetAi??on 13 April 2014, he is the youngest player to play in theAi??TippeligaenAi??and yes, the youngestAi??goalscorerAi??as well, when on 16th May, he scored in his team’s 4-1 win overAi??SarpsborgAi??08 FF. Not to be limited on the domestic stage,Ai??A?degaardAi??made his debut for the national team in their goal-less draw against the UAE on 27 August, becoming the youngest player to play for Norway. The icing on the cake was when, on 13th October,Ai??A?degaardAi??became the youngest player to play in a European Championship qualifier, when he came on as a substitute against Bulgaria.

A?degaard dribbles past a defender in the Tippeligaen.

A?degaard dribbles past a defender in the Tippeligaen.

It is clear, therefore, that youngAi??A?degaardAi??shows a lot of promise. He has scored 5 goals and 8 assists at the senior level so far, and even at this stage has scouts from Manchester United and Bayern Munich rubbing their hands in glee.Ai??A?degaardAi??as a player is technically gifted. He is a good dribbler, has excellent ball control and likes to get past defenders. Very good with his first touch,Ai??A?degaardAi??looks to release team-mates with deft flicks andAi??back-heels. But the boy is not just full of tricks.Ai??A?degaardAi??has as good a vision to play that final ball, as he does to start the build-up play.

A?degaardAi??prefers to play just behind the striker in a number 10 role, but could be equally effective from a deeper position. He also takes up the set-piece responsibilities for his team. He would suit the play at PepAi??Guardiola’sAi??Bayern Munich, where the first touch is revered. Manchester United’s Louis vanAi??Gaal, known for his passion for teaching his methods to the youngsters, must also be anxiously looking at developments. Liverpool too have been linked with a move forAi??A?degaardAi??whose understanding with his current club is till 2015.

Rather ominously for other clubs,Ai??A?degaardAi??has recently trained with Bayern Munich, although he was thought to be interested in Manchester United. The Norwegian turns 16 on 17thAi??December, which would allow him to then move from a non EU country (Norway) to countries in the EU. Therefore, it is important for the likes of United, Liverpool andAi??Real Madrid to act fast if they want toAi??priseAi??him away from Bayern Munich’s hands, where he is unlikely to get regular action. PepAi??GuardiolaAi??mischievouslyAi??answered the question about Bayern signingAi??A?degaardAi??by saying “That’s an excellent question for Bayern’s director of sport MatthiasAi??Sammer”.

Whoever gets the Norwegian’s signature would win one among the many battles in the transfer war between the big European powerhouses.Ai??A?degaardAi??is sure to be the next big thing, if his footballing education continues. There is a lot to learn forAi??A?degaard, who at times is not the first to pass the ball, preferring to take on players himself. Perhaps a move to one of the big European clubs cannot come soon enough for this wonder-kid, who might be breaking more “youngest player” records soon. We leave you with over 6 minutes of pure talent.

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