Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has already showcased his willingness to hand opportunities to the club’s emerging talents in his tenure thus far, with the Dutchman reaping the rewards of having thrust Alejandro Garnacho into the fray.
The Argentine sensation – who has four goal involvements at senior level this season – is not the only exciting asset in United’s youth ranks, however, with Ten Hag also paying close attention to a number of other promising figures.
One such talent who has already been on the cusp of the first team of late is Norwegian playmaker, Isak Hansen-Aaroen, with the 18-year-old having only recently featured in the friendly defeat to Real Betis, after previously earning involvement during pre-season.
The eye-catching teenager has been on the books at Old Trafford since joining from his boyhood club Tromso back in August 2020, having even featured seven times for the first-team during his time in his homeland – becoming the youngest ever player to feature for the Eliteserien side at the tender age of just 15 years and 323 days.
The dynamic gem – who was previously coveted by the likes of Liverpool and Everton prior to joining the Red Devils – has since been a regular fixture at youth level during his time at the Theatre of Dreams, featuring five times during last season’s FA Youth Cup triumph.
The 5 foot 8 starlet has since gone on to score three goals and register one assist in just 11 games at Premier League 2 level so far this season, albeit with a senior competitive bow for the club still yet to emerge.
Should Ten Hag unleash the midfielder any time soon he could well find his answer to Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard, with Hansen-Aaroen having been compared to his compatriot earlier this year.
That likeness was pointed out by his former Tromso teammate Yttergard Jenssen, who stated: “I realised that this was a talented boy already in the first training. He has some skills that are completely raw. He’s so playful with the ball. And the way he moves on a football field… There’s something artistic about it. He is a bit reminiscent of Martin Odegaard.”
That comparison will no doubt pique the interest of those at United with Odegaard – who also made his Stromsgodset debut at the age of just 15 – currently shining at the Emirates, having played a leading role in the Gunners’ remarkable surge to the top of the Premier League table this season.
The 24-year-old has truly led from the front as captain this season, scoring seven goals and providing five assists in just 16 top-flight outings to date, after previously providing 12 goal contributions across all fronts last term.
Lauded as “one of the best players in the Premier League” by talkSPORT’s Laura Woods, the former Real Madrid man has been in truly outrageous form for Mikel Arteta’s side in recent months, with that quality epitomised by his breathtaking assist in the recent win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
The manner in which the playmaker swept the ball instinctively on the turn to pick out teammate Gabriel Martinelli was truly mesmerising, with the 47-cap star having that knack for being able to expertly unlock a defence.
To think that United could unearth their own version of Odegaard in the form of Hansen-Aaroen is a mouthwatering prospect, with the hope being that the youngster will be handed his chance to shine sooner rather than later.