Elias Melkersen: The 17-goal 'huge talent' on cusp of Hibs move analysed by Norwegian football expert
Compilation videos should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Just ask Mike Bassett.
The fictitious manager, in the TV spin-off from the movie, signed Ronnie Van Needlemans off the back of a video sent by an agent, thinking he was a free-scoring striker, only to have recruited the goalkeeper from the video.
For football fans, it is so easy to be won over, especially by strikers scoring all sorts of goals from all sorts of angles.
Enter Elias Hoff Melkersen.
The 19-year-old Norwegian striker had been linked with a six-figure move to Hibs for a matter of minutes before such a video was being shared online.
Overhead kicks and long-range strikes. Getting excited at the prospect of your club signing such a talent is completely understandable. And with Melkersen there is substance to his talent.
He only turned 19 on Hogmanay and not long finished an impressive 17-goal campaign for Ranheim in the Norwegian second tier, averaging a goal every four shots.
He outscored his xG by five goals, in part due to his improvisation and imagination. The overhead kick netted in a 3-1 defeat to Start wasn’t all that surprising considering he had gone close to netting in similar fashion earlier in the same game.
Watching the striker in action, he is a constant threat and technically sound but there are areas to his game which will need to be refined and developed.
David Weatherston, the former St Johnstone, Falkirk and Queen's Park forward who finished his career in Norway, admitted it was a “surprise” to see the news of a possible move to Easter Road but confirms he is a “huge talent”.
"Melkersen is super sharp, plays between the goals and his box movement is really good,” he told The Scotsman.
“He is definitely needs to be stronger, but he has quick feet and is a good finisher with plenty of improvement to come.
"I think he probably needs another striker up beside him, he is capable of dropping into the hole and turning quick, but his strength is definitely in behind, movement in the box and pure finishing.
"He is so confident from last season, and should, at worst, be a useful sub from January.”
Weatherston, who lives in Norway and follows the leagues closely, compares the standard of the second tier to the Scottish Championship.
An element of surprise with Melkersen is the identity of the team he is on the cusp of leaving.
His parent club Bodø/Glimt are Norwegian champions but have seen their title winning team cherry-picked.
“I think a lot of people expected him to go to Glimt this year and be involved definitely as one of the options, particularly with Erik Botheim leaving,” Weatherston said. “[Manager] Kjetil Knutsen had been talking highly of him back in October when he signed a new deal.
"Very surprised they will let him go, although they do have another two young strikers, who probably suit the one striker system at Glimt better.”
He added: “I’m so excited to see a Scottish club going for Norwegian talent, there is so much out here, especially in that second tier.
"The other young striker [Oscar Aga] that top scored just moved to Swedish top tier, so they are getting picked off.”
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