Rising Aussie star Awer Mabil secured a dream move from Adelaide United to the current Danish champions FC Midtjylland, but the transition to the first team may take a while.
Midtjylland won their first major trophy last season after a period spent nurturing players through their youth system.
And according to journalist Klaus Egeland from Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, the 19-year-old Mabil has stiff competition for his favoured spot on the wing.
“At FCM he will have to compete against Danish U21 international Pione Sisto,” Egeland told FourFourTwo.
“(Sisto) has been targeted by Porto and monitored by Barcelona. And there is also Austrian senior national team player Daniel Royer.”
The fleet-footed Mabil played 48 games and scored eight goals for the Reds before making his European move, reportedly for a record fee.
His pace will certainly have caught the eye of the club where Egeland said there is a “focus on speed and technical players, preferring wingers that go in field to shoot, and make flat early crosses rather than going to the by-line and crossing high.”
The Wolves changed their coach in the Danish summer after Glen Riddersholm disputed the club’s future goals. Since then Denmark’s former U21 coach, Jess Thorup has been brought in.
Despite Thorup’s background in the Danish youth system, Egeland said the coach has shown a very pragmatic side.
“The strategy of the club officially is to bring in youth to the Superliga team,” he said.
“However, the switch to Thorup does not look like benefitting youth at the moment. The team is very focused on getting results right now and he is choosing to play more experienced players.”
And that could spell a time on the sidelines for Mabil. When the Sudanese refugee put pen to paper on the deal in July Thorup was quick to dampen expectations.
The Australian youth international was still developing, he told the club’s official website, and fans would need to be patient before “you get the full package”.