In young talent Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Manchester United are quietly hopeful the club have one of the stars of the future.
Hansen-Aaroen, 17, is progressing well in United’s academy, already making his under-23 debut and starring in the under-18s run to this season’s FA Youth Cup final.
United are clearly impressed too, with Hansen-Aaroen revealing in an interview that he has trained with the first team.
Hansen-Aaroen also talked up a couple of big name first team stars who have made him feel particularly welcome.
Top talent for the future
Hansen-Aaroen told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet: “For me, it was coolest to meet Sancho and Pogba. They were perhaps the best. They came over and greeted and introduced themselves and all that. It was fun. ”
He added that he was proud to help the team reach the FA Youth Cup final, having provided the assist for United’s opener in the 3-0 semi-final win over Wolves.
The playmaker said: “In England the Youth Cup is seen as one of the biggest. Being a part of the team that once again makes it to the finals is very special and fun. ”
After his contribution in the semi-final, teammate Sam Mather labeled him ‘Messi’ on social media, which spoke volumes of how highly he is regarded by his peers.
He also explained in the interview he has linked up with fellow Norwegian footballers including Leeds’ Leo Hjelde, and is feeling more settled off the pitch.
Hansen-Aaroen was rested at the weekend as United’s under-18s side fought back from 4-1 down to claim a dramatic 5-5 draw away at Liverpool.
It’s possible he could be involved on Tuesday night for the under-23s when they take on Leeds.
The news he has met and trained with the first team show work is underway behind the scenes to integrate some of these top young prospects, even if the club have not yet published it with pictures.
Manager Ralf Rangnick has already talked up the Youth Cup stars, telling the club website: “There are quite a few technical players, really good players in possession of the ball, and, if they can combine that with physicality, with speed that is also necessary for this league, the Premier League, I would be very happy to see a couple of those players in the first team in the next years. ”