Right now, you can be forgiven if the name ‘Andreas Schjelderup’ does not ring a bell, though if the early signs are anything to go by, that will not be the case for much longer.
For now, that can be justified as the starlet is scarcely known outside of Scandanavian shores.
Therefore, you may be asking yourself: who is this mystical prospect? And why have I not heard of him?
But now you can ponder no more, for I will be giving you the lowdown on the majestic teen with the world at his young feet.
Schjelderup was born on the 1st June 2004 in the province of Bodø, nestled in the scenic north west crest of Norway.
Whereas some budding young footballers take a while to adapt to the rigorous, testing nature of the senior game, Schjelderup has transitioned in the blink of an eye.
And after already opening his professional account away to Lynbgy a fortnight ago, Schjelderup truly exploded onto the scene with a brace for Nordsjaelland in their 2-1 win over Sonderjyske on Sunday.
“He is a very special player. He will go to one of the five big leagues (in Europe)” said Nordsjaelland head coach Flemming Pedersen following the prospect’s match-winning performance.
Schjelderup, who is testing his capabilities and crafting an invaluable learning curve by locking horns with seasoned pros, has earned and allured the interest of some of Europe’s elite.
“There have been many fine clubs and offers,” Schjelderup’s father, Jorn-Tommy, told DR.
“In total, he has visited nine clubs as part of his development, and there have been over twenty (interested in signing him).”
According to VG, the star-blazing teen underwent trials at Liverpool, Spurs, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
It almost mirrors the formative years of Martin Ødegaard, of whom Schjelderup cites as one of his idols.
The midfielder, now enjoying a fruitful loan spell with Arsenal, tantalised the footballing behemoths after his bedazzling breakthrough with Stromgodset, eventually penning terms with Real Madrid after performing trials all over Western Europe.
The one key difference is that Schjelderup has instead dismissed the utopian urges. Most teenagers would, without a doubt, bite at the cherry to seal terms within football’s upper echelons.
So as you can imagine, a degree of shock radiated when, in the midst of a speculation whirlwind, the 16-year old swapped Bodo/Glimt for Danish side Nordsjaelland at the turn of the year.
Though on the other hand, it is genuinely easy to reason with Schjelderup’s judgment. At that age, the opportunity to prove your worth in the men’s game comes at a premium.
It must be said, heavy exposure can often leave players overwhelmed, disheartened and discouraged but Schjelderup, a player distinctively different from the rest, is revelling in his entrusted role.
I, for one, would contest that embarking on a more clear, simplistic path to the first team is a significantly better option.
Here, in Denmark’s top flight, Schjelderup is licensed with the fortune of playing alongside and gaining a footballing education from those with vast experience in the sport, something which you feel could provide a huge benefit.
Testing yourself in senior football is a monumental step for any young player, so the fact that Scheldjerup is adopting that chance rather than lurching into the treacherous unpredictability of Europe’s powerhouses comes as a real token of encouragement.
By all accounts, Nordsjaelland possess a positive rapport when it comes to developing youthful talent.
Emre Mor, once commended as one of the world’s brightest young sparks, impressed with the club in his maiden season before moving on to Borussia Dortmund back in 2016.
Moreover, Brentford duo Emiliano Marcondes and Mathias Jensen both rose through the ranks with the Norweigan outfit, with the latter assuming captaincy in his final year.
Recently, Ghanaian International Mohammed Kudus has gone some way to illuminating the nurturing schemes at Farum Park.
Recruited as part of their ‘Dare To Dream’ model which encompasses a renowned scouting operation over in Ghana, Kudus is the ultimate epitome of the success that it has entailed.
Kudus went on to make 55 appearances for the Wild Tigers over a two year period and left for Ajax in the summer, where he has impressed thus far.
A transparent, progressive philosophy at the club has bore remarkable results.
Last season, the side boasted the youngest team across Europe’s top divisions with a staggering average age of 22.5, and 60% of the squad was made up of academy products.
Therefore, you can really understand why Nordsjaelland has turned out to be an advantageous avenue for Schjelderup.
Eventually though, the belief is held that he will become acquainted with one of the big boys and it is a lure that often carries sense. Only the timing that fledgling talents choose to jump ship can prove detrimental.
More often than not, Schjelderup is deployed as a winger or a second striker and the Nordsjaelland prodigy is part of a promising attacking revolution for Norway.
Players such as Erling Haaland, Jens Petter Hague and Jorgen Strand Larsen have all ignited an optimistic ambience towards their International future.
And for me, the exciting emergence of the buoyant virtuoso simply serves as a further signal of what Norway could go on to achieve in years to come.
Should he continue to blossom and progress in the scintillating style of present, a glittering career in the game undoubtedly lies ahead.
featured image credit nettavisen