According to Bleacher Report, Man United have been linked with a move for Norwegian starlet Sander Berge, with the Red Devils looking to add more depth and quality to their squad following a lacklustre start to the campaign.
Berge, though, isn’t the only Norwegian youngster to have attracted interest from United, with the Premier League giants also keeping close tabs on Celtic star Kristoffer Ajer, as well as RB Salzburg forward Erling Braut Haaland. (h/t Bleacher Report)
The 21-year-old, who started his career with lower-division outfit Asker before shooting to prominence with Valerenga in his homeland, completed a move to Belgian heavyweights Genk back in January 2017 and has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of seasons.
Having played a key role in Genk’s march to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in his debut season, the Norwegian prodigy has enhanced his reputation as one of the most highly-rated up and coming defensive midfielders in Europe and his meteoric rise hasn’t eluded the eyes of the Premier League clubs.
Sander Berge was the subject of a club-record £28 million bid from Premier League outfit Brighton back in the summer (h/t Mirror). While Genk managed to successfully fend off interest back then, the Belgian club could find it very difficult to shield their prized asset should a club of Man United’s stature come calling for his services.
The technically-gifted and industrious midfield enforcer already boasts of 18 caps for Norway at the senior international level and recently caught the eye with a stellar display on Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League to guide Genk to a 0-0 draw against Napoli.
Adept at shielding the backline and breaking up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions, Sander Berge not only excels with his combative attributes in the middle of the park but his energetic presence, coupled with his fluent passing and intelligent distribution, make him an excellent all-round defensive midfielder.
Add to that his high level of footballing intelligence, spectacular vision and a keen eye for setting up chances from a withdrawn position in the midfield and it really doesn’t require a professional analyst to figure out as to why he is destined to achieve great things in the beautiful game.
To put things into perspective, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made his intentions of building a team around up and coming players very clear with the acquisition of top homegrown talents like Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer and Sander Berge could be yet another exciting addition to the club’s ranks.
Keeping in mind United’s goalscoring woes in the Premier League, a new centre-forward and a top-quality creative midfielder are expected to be high on the manager’s wishlist in January but bringing in reinforcements in deep midfield would also make a lot of sense.
With Paul Pogba’s future still very much up in the air and the likes of Nemanja Matic and Fred failing to prove their worth, youngster Scott McTominay has been forced to shoulder the bulk of the workload in the middle of the park and the arrival of Berge could potentially solve a grave issue for United in a key area of the pitch.
Berge has illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years in terms of his ability to read the game and United could benefit massively from his natural intelligence, as well as his proficiency in carrying the ball forward and thwarting the opposition in the midfield.
Given that he is widely regarded as a prodigious talent with massive potential, Berge is definitely not going to come cheap but he is likely to be well worth the outlay in the long run.
The 21-year-old is only going to get better with time and if the Red Devils manage to get their hands on him, they might as well have their central midfield problems sorted out for the next decade