Magnus Wolff Eikrem: How long before the inevitable?
Every so often comes a player who possesses something special; the kind whose raw, impressive talents catch the eye immediately. For Magnus Eikrem is truly, and to quote a well-worn cliché, a ‘Star in the Making’. Sure, he needs developing, nurturing and some good old-fashioned Fergie-polishing but what is clear is that this young boy, mentored by another Norweigan, one Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is that he is as close as ever to graduating into the first team.
For, if early season reserve games are anything to go by, the lad certainty has talent. Having inspired the second string to a 4-0 win over Bolton last week, in which some observers called a Man of the Match performance despite Nicky Ajose’s quickfire hattrick, he once again pulled the strings against a strong Blackburn outfit last night and it was his late goal that rescued a point in a 2-2 stalemate. United’s next reserve game isn’t until November and it’s fairly obvious that Eikrem needs some games in order to develop, because frankly, a footballer with such promise should not have a month off at this time of season.
Once you watch the Norwegian play, you can fully understand why I think United don’t need a new central midfielder; plus they have Tom Cleverley waiting in the wings, too. Indeed, he is a perfect long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, although many would be quick to compare him to Cesc Fabregas (or even Luka Modric) as both like to cover vast distances on the pitch. Comparisons are often unfair, but they do have their similarities.
Tom Cleverley was sent on loan to Wigan Athletic prior to the season and although the decision had some baffled (including me), the club and the player are likely to reap the rewards from the spell. A Championship loan move will suit Eikrem just fine; the promise of regular football plus a more demanding, physical league compared to that of the Premier Reserve League. Failing that, there is the old polishing way I talked of earlier, which requires patience but the rewards could soon be evident. United’s Carling Cup tie at home to Wolverhampton could be the perfect stage for Magnus Eikrem. I ask myself: how long before the inevitable?