Norway and Manchester City’s Oscar Bobb has become the talk of Manchester. Another extremely talented Norwegian has started to shine in Manchester alongside compatriot Erling Haaland. Bobb’s rise has sparked questions on the red side of Manchester, with some fans asking, what about our own starlet, Isak Hansen-Aaroen?
Isak Hansen-Aaroen, was once considered the shining light in the academy of Manchester United. He now faces an uncertain future as his contract nears expiration this summer. The Norwegian youngster, who signed his first professional deal at 17, is now at a pivotal point in his career.
Early Promise and Missed Opportunities
Hansen-Aaroen had been scouted by Man United since he was 14 years old and was considered a coup when they completed the signing of him from Tromso after a pre-contract agreement with his agent Jim Solbakken, who also represented Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the time.
He was brought into the limelight this season with promises of first-team minutes during pre-season, offering him a chance to showcase his talents. He wanted to participate in the Under-19 European Championships, a significant opportunity for any young player, but the club stopped him from doing so. However, this gamble has not paid off as expected.
He has continued to play academy football with no clear route into the first-team setup.
Competition and the Rise of Rivals
The dynamic at Manchester United has seen a shift, with players like Dan Gore, Hannibal Mejbri, and Kobbie Mainoo moving ahead in the pecking order and prospects like Shea Lacey starting to see their stock grow further and further. This change in hierarchy, has left Hansen-Aaroen in a precarious position, right now he seems more likely to exit on a free transfer than to secure a renewal of his contract.
It should be known that Isak Hansen-Aaroen is highly ranked by staff at the club, he has technical ability but lacks physicality in their eyes to play at the top level. He was offered loan moves this summer with links abroad and to the Championship failing to materialise.
Hansen-Aaroen said in an interview with VG: “A route is right for some, which may be completely wrong for others. I think you just have to sit down and figure out what’s right for you because there are different answers for everyone.”
Hansen-Aaroen added: “There was talk of something different, but I don’t want to say too much about it. There was some stuff, but we didn’t quite agree.
“There is a lot of interest. If we wanted it to be a loan, I know we could go. There were slightly different things that we didn’t quite agree on.”
Echoes of the Past
The situation isn’t new for Manchester United, which has seen similar stories unfold with players like Magnus Wolf Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli. These former prospects, like Isak Hansen-Aaroen, struggled to cement their place in the first team, ultimately moving on to pursue their careers elsewhere.
Adjusting to Life in Manchester
Isak Hansen-Aaroen’s journey hasn’t been smooth. Arriving in Manchester amidst the global pandemic, he faced challenges in settling into a new city under unprecedented circumstances. Despite these difficulties, he has forged a strong bond with fellow Norwegian Leo Hjelde, currently at Leeds United, and Oscar Bobb at Manchester City.
He explained: “You learn a lot from moving. I have learned a lot as a person. I have lived a lot alone and away from family. You learn a lot about yourself as a person. There are many in the national team who have done it. I feel we are a fairly mature group.”
A Summer of Decisions
As the summer transfer window approaches, the clock is ticking for Hansen-Aaroen. With his three-year contract coming to an end and no contract renewal on the horizon, the possibility of him leaving Old Trafford seems more likely than ever. This summer could mark the end of his chapter with Manchester United, leading him to new opportunities and challenges in his football career.
There have been discussions with his agent, but right now it looks more likely he looks to leave with the idea of getting first-team football, especially when he sees his friends, Oscar Bobb and Leo Hjelde play first team football.