Isak Hansen-Aaroen came on to make his unofficial Manchester United debut in pre-season against Rayo Vallecano.
The Norwegian wonderkid came on for the final 10 minutes at Old Trafford and almost scored with his first touch, seeing his shot blocked.
This was a big moment for the teenager, who had made a hopeful prediction last year he would make his debut before he reached 18.
While not an official match and just a friendly, as far as mark of progress goes, it was an important checkmark.
Hansen-Aaroen’s prediction over Manchester United debut
Speaking to Norwegian outlet VG in June 2021, when he was just 16, Hansen-Aaroen was asked if he would be happy to make his first team debut when he turns 18.
He responded: “It might be like that. Hopefully it will happen before that time.”
Hansen-Aaroen is 17 and turns 18 in three weeks time. As far as making progress goes, the young midfielder is on track.
He is one of the ‘fantastic four’ academy midfielders we picked out who could play a huge role under Erik ten Hag in the years ahead.
This season the FA Youth Cup winner will play as part of United’s under-21 side, and there’s no guarantee a competitive first team debut will come.
But he’s one step closer, after training with the first team this week and featuring in pre-season, he’s on Erik ten Hag’s radar, and that’s a positive step forward for him.
A big future lies ahead, and as long as Hansen-Aaroen goes onto progress at the rate he has been, more opportunities will come his way.
Isak Hansen-Aaroen: What you need to know
- United agreed to sign Hansen-Aaroen in 2019
The deal had to wait until he turned 16 in August 2020. United sent Aidan Barlow on loan to Tromso as part of the agreement.
- He was a wanted player
United beat competition from both Everton and Liverpool for Hansen-Aaroen’s signature
- Making an impact
Hansen-Aaroen made his debut for Tromso’s first team in July 2020. He made seven appearances in total, all as a substitute, providing an assist on his final appearance.
- Creative midfielder’s move is significant
Hansen-Aaroen is the first Norwegian player signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he took over as manager.
- Youth international
Hansen-Aaroen is a Norway youth international. He has scored three goals in three games for the country’s under-16 side and since made his under-18s debut.