Molde have today confirmed the signing of Bryne’s 16 year old forward Erling Braut Håland. The Norwegian U’17 international will join other promising youngsters such as Tobias Svendsen and Thomas Olivier Amang in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
2016 was Håland’s breakout year for Bryne, as he appeared in 16 OBOS Ligaen games for the side having made his debut aged just 15 years old. Despite not scoring, he impressed with his determination and ability to pick up dangerous positions in the box. Håland became a fixture in the squad under both Alf-Ingve Berntsen and Ole Hjelmhaug.
Håland joins a host of promising Bryne youngsters to have left the Rogaland side in recent years. Tord Salte (17) left for Lyon in 2015 and Magnus Grodem (18) joined Ronny Deila’s Valerenga side in the Summer of 2016.
Throughout 2016 Håland was scouted by a number of top European sides including Liverpool FC and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with whom he went on trial with for a week. Being the son of former Leeds & Manchester City player Alf-Inge Håland means that English clubs will be well aware of the youngsters potential already.
The Bryne academy have produced their fair share of talent of late and with players such as Andreas Ueland (17), Adrian Berntsen (17), Jonatan Braut Brunes (16) and Marius Halvorsen (19) all looking to make further strides into the first team in 2017, the future does have a positive tint to it despite the despair of relegation last season.
So what can Molde fans expect from Håland? In the short term, it is unlikely that the youngster will make much of a dent on the first team. At times for Bryne last year Håland looked like a rabbit in the headlights. This is of course expected of someone so young playing first team football, but to Håland’s credit he was continually improving match on match. It was clear that Håland had the potential to become an Eliteserien footballer at the very least in the future.
With Molde boasting some very talented U’21 players in their side already, Håland will have to work hard to keep up with the others’ development. As mentioned above, it is clear to see Håland is a hard worker and determined character so you can count on him to always be looking to improve. Having Solskjaer to look up to and learn from could also be a key part of the youngsters’ development.
Håland can play in a variety of forward positions. His build lends itself more to the position of a striker but Håland’s technical skills can also be put to good use on the wing. For Bryne in 2016, the youngster tended to switch between these positions to play wherever was needed.
Håland spoke to the Molde Official Website having completed his move and said;
«I think it is very good that Molde FK will take responsibility for my progress and development further. There were many others who showed interest, but I think Molde can be the best for me and my development. When I was here in October (on trial) It was professionally organized and I see they put a lot of emphasis on developing other players.»
The move will be an interesting one to follow. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not shied away from giving youngsters a shot at the first team before, but Håland is still very raw and someone whose talent will need to be nurtured by the Eliteserien side. A good year for the second team could well see the player pushing for a spot on the Molde bench come 2018.