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Sivert Mannsverk: Ajax star is one of the many young gems emerging from Norway

Sivert Mannsverk: Ajax star is one of the many young gems emerging from Norway

The word ‘golden generation’ is used for a nation or team with a group of highly talented players who all rise simultaneously, making a formidable squad. And recent signs suggest that Norway might have a chance to have a golden generation of their own. Premier League stars Erling Haaland and Martin Ødegaard are their two main men. Still, others like Eredivisie sensation Osame Sahraoui, Jupliler Pro League star Antonio Nusa, and Sivert Mannsverk have also shown a glimpse of world-class talent.

Mannsverk, a defensive midfielder at Ajax, is touted as a player who can become the next star for both club and country. Ajax experienced one of the worst starts to their season, losing five of their opening nine games. While they have recovered, they still trail league leaders PSV by 29 points.

Mannsverk has been unavailable for the majority of the season due to a foot injury, which has caused a major setback in his progress. However, his potential means he can easily rediscover his previous form, which earned him a transfer move to Ajax in the first place.

So, who is Sivert Mannsverk, and how good is he?

Sivert Mannsverk profile 

Born in Sivert Mannsverk, Vestland County, Sivert Mannsverk started his career playing for a host of local clubs before he joined Sogndal Fotball. His rise was rapid, and he was promoted to the senior squad, which competed in the OBOS-ligaen, Norway’s first division. This was an excellent opportunity for a then 17-year-old Mannsverk.

His league debut came on April 7, 2019, against Ullensaker/Kisa. He would go on to play 16 times that season. His performance against Skeid was what first brought him into the limelight. Mannsverk scored one and provided one to help his team earn a draw.

This earned him a more prominent role in the team next season, where he made 27 appearances, scoring four goals and providing four assists. Mannsverk also played in the UEFA Youth League, scoring one and assisting one.

By the time the 2021 season arrived, it was clear that the defensive midfielder was too talented for Sogndal. He got the perfect opportunity when Molde, one of the most powerful clubs in Norway, came calling.

Mannsverk couldn’t say no to such a proposal and joined the club. While the gulf in quality was massive between Molde and Sogndal, the youngster took no time adjusting to his new surroundings.

Sivert Mannsverk Heatmap 2023 Molde

Sivert Mannsverk stats 

Mannsverk played 14 games in his debut season in Eliteserien, providing one assist. However, his best moment came in the Norwegian Football Cup. Mannsverk made six appearances in the competition and scored the only goal in the final against Bodø/Glimt. The Cup title was still a consolation [price for Molde as they lost the league title by three points.

So, Molde and Mannsverk’s main aim in the 2022 season was to win the league title. And the youngster didn’t disappoint, playing an integral part. In fact, such was the team’s dominance in the league that they won the league by 18 points.

After two impressive seasons, Mannsverk came on the transfer wishlist of several clubs. And his stock rose further when he had the best season, as he scored six goals and provided one assist in 30 games. He managed over two interceptions per 90 minutes that season among the top five percentile of midfielders. Mannsverk also made 1.1 tackles per game, winning the possession 1.3 times per 90 minutes. Mannsverk also won more than 50 per cent of his duels.

His passing is, undoubtedly, the best weapon in his arsenal.

However, his time at Ajax has been heavily marred by injuries, with the youngster only making eight appearances for the senior team and three for the under-21s.

Sivert Mannsverk style of play 

Sivert Mannsverk is the typical modern-day number six who, in his team, is the finest passer of the ball. The reason is that the number six is usually the entire team’s fulcrum. His heatmap from his last season at Molde perfectly illustrates that. One important observation is that he loves to use the inside channel on both the left and right wings. At Molde, he was used both as a defensive and central midfielder, although he played far fewer minutes in the latter role.

Mannsverk loves having the ball at his feet. Even out of possession, the midfielder positions himself as near as possible without breaking the team’s shape. He also spent the majority of his time in the opposition’s half, where he averaged close to 90 per cent accuracy, which shows his composure on the ball in tight spaces.

Sivert Mannsverk profile 

The injury to Sivert Mannsverk has made it very difficult to predict his progress in the Eredivisie. While he has been brilliant in Norway, the Eredivisie is a far more competitive league. Mannsverk will not only have to be good but also deliver them on a weekly basis. Ajax have one of the best records when it comes to developing young players, and the Norwegian is well-placed to take full advantage of this.

Mannsverk has now recovered from his injury and played in the last four league games, playing the full 90 minutes in the last one. His main focus is to end the season on a high and ensure he plays the entire next season, which will be a true reflection of whether he is built to thrive at the biggest stage or not.

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