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style="font-weight: 400;">It seems as though the 2017 Winter Transfer Window has seen some of the best and worst transfer dealings from OBOS Ligaen clubs in recent years. Many teams are showing more ambition than usual but there are of course some who have tended to play it safe in the market so far.

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(Photo: Digital Sports)

style="font-weight: 400;">In this piece we will not be focusing on the poor business during the current transfer window, but the transfers that have really shocked or shown great ambition.

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style="font-weight: 400;">We count down the top five best pieces of business from OBOS Ligaen clubs, so far…

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style="font-weight: 400;">Before we get to the list, I wanted to mention a few signings that have not quite made the top 5 but still stand out as great pieces of business. Dinko Trebotic signed for Fredrikstad from Israeli side Bnei Yehouda and if the Croatian is played in his natural central midfield role then he could well become invaluable for his new club. Sandnes also impressed in the market this winter, adding Kjell Rune Sellin, Roy Miljeteig and Remi Johansen to their ranks. All three players offer a new dimension to this Sandnes team.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Levanger signed up Erik Tonne and Robert Stene whilst Strommen’s signing of Magnus Solum may not be the most glamourous but could definitely prove to be a shrewd piece of business come the end of the season. Finally, Ull/Kisa’s recent double signing of Andreas Aalbu and Nicolay Solberg (Okay, ‘re-signing’) could well ease their critics' (me) worries of relegation.

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  1.  Sune Kiilerich - Arendal Fotball

Sune Kiilerich in action in La Manga

style="font-weight: 400;">Arendal have impressed many onlookers in pre-season with their dynamic attack and skilful midfield. What has gone under the radar somewhat is the quality of their defence and at the heart of their back four will be new signing and newly appointed captain of the side, Sune Kiilerich.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Kiilerich was a mainstay of FC Fredericia’s defence in 2015 as the side performed admirably in the Danish 1.Division, but his 2016 season was marred by injuries and so the side decided not to renew his contract.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Fredericia’s loss is Arendal’s gain. The newly promoted southern Norway side gain a player with experience in Denmark’s top two divisions having played over 100 times for both Silkeborg and Fredericia.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Previously, the defender has also been a part of Sampdoria’s youth system in Italy. He was signed by the side as a teenager from Midtjylland but unfortunately never got his break into the first team.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Kiilerich can play across the back four and so should become an invaluable asset for Arendal this season. His experience at a higher level of football will benefit his side greatly and it comes as no surprise that the Danish defender has been named captain going into the 2017 season.

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  1. Jose Angel Jurado - Bodo/Glimt

Jose Angel Jurado unveiled as a Bodo/Glimt player. Photo credit to Niklas Aune Johnsen

style="font-weight: 400;">Jose Jurado has to be one of the biggest signings in the OBOS Ligaen this pre-season. It is rare to see a player from the Spanish Segunda division making the move over to Norway and I am sure Jurado will get a shock from the climate in his new country…

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style="font-weight: 400;">Jurado got his breakthrough season for Almeria in 2015 after the side's’ relegation from the Spanish Primera in 2014. He became a regular in the team playing both in defence and midfield, showing his versatility.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Jurado was even playing regularly just before cancelling his contract with Almeria in late January and has been looking for a club since. Bodo/Glimt wasted no time in taking the player on trial and subsequently signing him onto a one year contract.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Whilst I have my doubts about this signing due to the settling aspect of the move, it is clearly one of the biggest and most ambitious pieces of business shown from any OBOS Ligaen club this season so far. It would not be untrue to suggest the player has the ability and experience to step into most bottom half Eliteserien sides at the very least.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Jurado should slot straight into the Glimt midfield and could well form a nice partnership in the middle with golden boy Mathias Normann. Jurado’s defensive qualities could allow Normann to operate a bit further up the pitch without the worry of neglecting his defensive duties.

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style="font-weight: 400;">If Jurado can settle in Glimt, there is no doubt he could become one of the division’s stand out players.

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  1. Carlos Gaete Moggia - Elverum

Carlos Gaete Moggia in action for Hammarby in the Allsvenskan.

style="font-weight: 400;">Elverum have quietly been building a very solid squad this offseason and despite many predicting them to go back down, with the strength of some of their signings it would not surprise me to see them finishing in mid table come November.

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style="font-weight: 400;">The one signing to sum up this club’s ambition is Carlos Gaete Moggia. For Elverum to sign a former Allsvenskan footballer and someone who has been a regular in top Superettan sides is massive. Moggia will offer the side a wealth of experience at the base of the Elverum midfield.

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style="font-weight: 400;">The midfielder has nearly 200 club appearances at the age of 29 and has played 31 times in the Allsvenskan as well as 130 times in the Superettan. He will likely be operating in the Elverum midfield alongside Remi Andre Svindland (Another top ‘re-signing’ in the OBOS Ligaen) and Marius Hagen and should offer his two teammates more room to attack as he cleans up defensively.

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style="font-weight: 400;">Moggia may not be as glamorous a signing as some players in this list but he will for sure be effective in this Elverum side. With so many clubs in the OBOS Ligaen crying out for a defensive midfielder, it is a wonder that Moggia was not picked up by sides such as Fredrikstad or Asane.

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2.   Erixon Danso - FK Jerv

Erixon Danso in action for FK Jerv in La Manga

FK Jerv surprised everyone with the signing of Erixon Danso this Winter. There were rumours circulating that a Dutch winger was on trial with the club in early February but boss Arne Sandsto avoided all questioning on the matter.

Danso was unveiled to fans just days later after the press got a hold of information that the player was going to sign at some point during the day. The transfer was met with excitement from all corners, with many onlookers with no affiliation to FK Jerv praising the deal.

The signing is definitely a luxury one for Jerv who have most likely made the Aruba international their highest paid transfer after his move from FC Stal Kamianske of Ukraine. Danso has a great record in the Dutch Eerste Division having scored 14 in 35 in a stint with FC Emmen and 13 in 31 with FC Dordrecht. He has also spent time with Valencia B and Utrecht in his younger days.

The 27 year old is the perfect replacement for Tonny Brochmann as he can operate effectively out wide or through the middle as an attacking midfielder. The loss of Brochmann to Stabaek will have worried some Jerv fans as replacing his goalscoring output from last season seemed nigh on impossible at certain points but the signing of Erixon Danso will have laid to rest some of those concerns.

As with every high profile OBOS Ligaen signing the worry about motivation will always be there, will Danso perform at his highest level in a league so inferior to his past experiences? If Danso does perform well, then FK Jerv can offer him a platform to improve and maybe even further his career.

  1. Pontus Silfwer - Mjondalen

Pontus Silfwer in action for Mjondalen in La Manga. Photo credit to Mjondalen Official site.

Pontus Silfwer is my favourite signing so far in the OBOS Ligaen. The midfielder joins Mjondalen from IK Frej in the Swedish Superettan and has recently been named as captain of the side for the 2017 season.

The signing is not as high profile as the likes of Jose Jurado or Erixon Danso but Silfwer should fit perfectly into place in the Mjondalen team and offers much more than a good passing range.

The midfielder has shown off his talents in pre-season so far with great performances coming against the likes of Elverum, Sarpsborg and Rubin Kazan in La Manga. As well as a good passing range, Silfwer's dynamism in midfield allows him to quickly get from box to box and support both ends of the field. His set piece ability also sets him apart from a lot of midfielders in the division.

Mjondalen really missed a more defensive minded midfielder last season and their back four was left exposed time and time again. Whilst Silfwer is not necessarily a natural 'defensive midfielder' he is at least someone who will sit a bit deeper and protect the back four more than the Mjondalen midfielders did last season. With Mjondalen maybe looking to build attacks from the back more often this year, Silfwer is the perfect outlet in midfield for those attacks to stem from.

Manager Vegard Hansen told me in an interview a few weeks back that he was extremely impressed with Silfwer's pre-season form and attitude in training. The fact that the Mjondalen manager has given the newcomer the captaincy only goes to confirm this view that Silfwer could become one of the best players in the side this season.

It will be interesting to follow the seasons' of all players mentioned in this article as there are of course many more factors to consider when trying to determine whether a signing is 'good' or not. More often than not, the bigger signings in the OBOS Ligaen will flop and some of the signings that once went under the radar come to the fore.

However, it is good to see OBOS Ligaen clubs show a little more ambition this year as opposed to last year's dealings. With clubs seeming more willing to gamble on a player, there will for sure be more surprises in store in the coming season.

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