Aston Villa signing this talented 18-year-old Norwegian ace would be a smart long-term investment


Why Aston Villa should look at Sivert Mannsverk as a long-term investment 

According to claims from Italian outlet La Lazio Siamo Noi via Sport Witness (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa are among a host of clubs in Europe linked with a move for Norwegian starlet Sivert Mannsverk. 

The 18-year-old central midfielder, who currently plies his trade with Sogndal in the Norwegian second-tier, has also attracted interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Brighton. Elsewhere, Italian side Lazio and Dutch giants Ajax are also understood to be running the rule over Mannsverk. (h/t Birmingham Live)

A youth exponent of Sogndal, Mannsverk made his first-team debut for his boyhood club in the Norwegian second-tier during the 2019 season whilst also featuring in the UEFA Youth League. The midfielder eventually established himself as a key cog in Sogndal’s midfield, captaining the club to a third-place finish last term. 

Mannsverk has caught the eye with his leadership skills while also earning plaudits for his quality on the ball. The highly-rated midfielder bagged 5 goals and 5 assists in 43 appearances for Sogndal in the previous campaign. As per the report, the Norwegian U-19 international, who has a contract until the end of 2022, could be available for as little as €2 million this month,

Firda - No er det klart: Midtbane-talent blir i Sogndal
Mannsverk captained Sogndal in the Norwegian second-tier last season (Getty Images)

Putting things into context, Aston Villa winning the race to sign Sivert Mannsverk in January would represent an excellent long-term boost for Dean Smith’s side. However, the Villans’ pursuit of the midfielder might not be so straightforward, with so many other clubs, including Arsenal and Ajax, also vying for the teenager’s signature this month.

Aston Villa have made good use of their financial muscle to bolster their first-team with some top-quality players in recent windows following their return to the Premier League in 2019. Besides that, the Villans have also invested a lot in revamping their academy.

Villa cherry-picked some exciting talents in the form of Ben Chrisene, Sil Swinkels, Aaron O’Reilly and Caolan McBride this past summer. The acquisition of Mannsverk, to that end, would represent a continuation of the club’s youth recruitment drive.

The 18-year-old has already started to make significant strides in his development at Sogndal in his homeland. That he has been playing regularly and making a big impact at the professional level, regardless of the division, clearly underlines his maturity as an up and coming talent. Mannsverk has also demonstrated his leadership skills from a tender age, drawing comparisons with senior compatriot Sander Berge, who joined Sheffield United from Genk last year.

Sogndal-talentet følges tett av både norske topplag og Serie A-klubber -  Eurosport
Mannsverk (R) in action for Sogndal (Getty Images)


It’s highly unlikely that Sivert Mannsverk would stake a claim for a place in Dean Smith’s ranks during the second half of the season even if a January transfer to Villa Park does materialise. However, given his low price-tag and high potential, the Norwegian starlet is well worth a punt for the Villans as a long-term prospect. 

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Norway’s latest generation of young footballers include the likes of Erling Haaland, Jens Petter Hauge, Sander Berge and many more, all of whom have excelled in some of the elite leagues across the continent. Having said that, Aston Villa could unearth their own gem from Norway in the form of Mannsverk.