The future looked bright and the sky was apparently the limit when Mats Møller Dæhli combined Cardiff at age 19 during the winter rest of this 2013/14 season. His former mentor at Molde, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, had taken over the Welsh club and he had been taking the child with him to deliver some attacking flair to The Bluebirds. Norwegian soccer expert Lars Tjærnås went up to stating it was”good to find a midfielder who does what he wants with the ball and not the other way round”.
However, the confidence and excitement felt by both the trainer and his youthful student faded quickly as Cardiff failed to turn things around under the recent Manchester United manager. Møller Dæhli was one of the trainer’s favorites, including in 13 matches scoring one goal in a 3-3 draw against West Bromwich. At the close of the year, the side by the Welsh funding was relegated, but both Solskjær and the young midfielder decided to remain at the club.
However, things did not turn around for both of the Norwegians, and ultimately Solskjær was let go after a disastrous run of results at the beginning of the new effort. Møller Dæhli at his conclusion struggled for playing time after his former coach was let go.
A move to a fighting SC Freiburg side throughout the winter was Møller Dæhli’s next move. Christian Streich’s way of playing soccer should have suited the young Norwegian participant perfectly. However, things were not improving for either Freiburg or the prior Molde player.
Frustrated by his injury problems, the Norwegian global chose to throw himself into training much more aggressively following his return to the pitch.
His eagerness on the training ground was not rewarded. Quite the contrary, as the right-winger was hurt once more after only two games in the Bundesliga 2. Nowadays the Norwegian admits that he was working too hard, maybe being sidelined again and again because he was too eager to prove himself.
Following Freiburg’s marketing Møller Dæhli featured in two matches for the side for a substitute, but given his aspirations to be a regular on the Norwegian national team, such playing time was not sufficient for him to stay around for more. SC Freiburg consented to allow the talented winger to leave the club during the winter break of this 2017/18 season.
Proceed to St. Pauli
Straight away the ideal winger broke to the side, but a lot of decent performances did not amount to a lot of goals and assists. Given the promising start to his career, there is little doubt that those stats were not what most people had anticipated from the child.
During his initial years for the Buccaneers the Norwegian suffered another serious accident. This time around he needed groin operation. However, the injury made him realize he had to change his strategy so as to remain fit. He advised the Norwegian broadcaster NRK:
“Now I decided to do something so as to change things. I worked on my strength, more stretching, yoga, there were lots of different things I chose to change.”
The changes Møller Dæhli made had a radical effect on his injury stats. Whilst he missed a total of 34 matches during his two years in Freiburg, the midfielder has just been sidelined for five games during his time in St. Pauli.
Despite the fact that the Norwegian was able to steer clear of injuries, he apparently could not get as many assists and goals because he and the fans had hoped for. His stance on the right wing was a huge talking point throughout the 2018/19 year based on MillernTon podcaster Tim Ecksteen:
“That Mats Møller Dæhli should proceed into the centre was already in the past season a massive issue, but the former director, Kauczinski, who, let us say, he was not convinced about his qualities as a playmaker (but it is hard for me to get a valid argument). It certainly suits him much better his skill set to behave from the center as he’s a larger range of potential action zones. I’d call him a’needle’ player as he is, as a result of his strategy, able to do the proper things under high pressure (carrying or passing the ball to the actions zones). Players on the exterior in the 2. Bundesliga need more speed than Mats Møller Dæhli (he is fast on the meters, but on longer distances he is just too slow for an outside midfielder). And we’ve got speedy players in our group (Miyaichi, Conteh) that are better suited to outside positions.”
That Møller Dæhli’s soccer was pretty to watch, but did not create an awful lot concerning goals and help has changed this year. Norwegian Bundesliga commentator and podcaster Eivind Bisgaard Sundet say that Mats Møller Dæhli always owned Plenty of quality, but his development was stopping ever since he arrived in Germany:
He’s always been a gift, but I believe myself included and several others had given up on him. It looked like his advancement had come to a standstill, particularly concerning goals and assists. But, suddenly everything appears to be right and that’s just great. It is fun to see somebody triumph, particularly given the fact that his chances of being successful apparently slipped further and further away. We’re witnessing a little fairytale in Hamburg at this time.”
Tim Ecksteen States that Møller Dæhli has thrived in his new place, including:
“Now you may find him nearly everywhere on the pitch, as a profound playmaker (place 6), but he moves into the lines to elude pressing and to overload action zones on the outsides. That means you can not describe him just as offensive or defensive playmaker. Part wise he’s also online with our striker, he’s partly acting on the outsides, partly he attempts to open space with runs. To shield Kauczinski a little, you will need to understand, that it feels like Mats Møller Dæhli has improved his defensive pressure a lot and appears to be as healthy as never before.”
It was St. Pauli trainer Jos Luhukay (Kauczinski’s successor) who spotted a new possibility from the Norwegian, moving him from the wing into the middle of the pitch. Playing behind the striker has satisfied Møller Dæhli up to now. The 24-year-old told Hamburg newspaper MoPo about his new role:
I do play at a new position, at the middle of the pitch, which suits me quite well.”
“It feels like he’s a more important role within the group today. Previously it seemed like it had been Buchtmann who had been the principal man accountable for the assault, but now it’s Mats Møller Dæhli. I believe that is more significant than his position.
“The coach expects a great deal from me and that’s a fantastic thing. I must train hard and work on being a target hazard. He expects me to make opportunities, that is my job, he said so at the beginning of the season.”
So far this movement has seen Møller Dæhli’s stats soar through the roof. As of this moment the 24-year-old is topping the German soccer magazine kicker’s player ratings for the Bundesliga 2.
Despite that, the prior Molde participant was critical of his performances so far this year after the first five-match days. He said:
“I will do more, I must be consistent. That’s also to be the case for the past 20 or 30 minutes of a game.”
So far this year the Norwegian has made headlines filmed the club badge after the most important 2-0 win over arch-rivals HSV from the Hamburg derby. Other terrific storylines that have reached some newspapers abroad is the fact that Møller Dæhli was able to help three goals within the space of 16 minutes in St. Pauli’s 3-3 draw against Dynamo Dresden.
Over his two and a half years at the club that the Norwegian has struck the right chords not only on the pitch but also if he was asked to talk about a variety of subjects based on Krükemeier.
Throughout the summer the playmaker told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK what he expects to accomplish whilst he remains at the Millerntor:
“The club is in my heart, and it’s a fantasy to get promoted together.”