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Real talent who will be Daehli missed! THE THINKING FAN'S CARDIFF CITY COLUMN.

Byline: Paul Abbandonato

TO many Cardiff City fans, Mats Moller Daehli is the most naturally gifted footballer the Bluebirds have had on their books since the emergence of a young Aaron Ramsey.

You can question lots of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's many signings, but grabbing Daehli from the clutches of Manchester United was a brilliant acquisition for the Bluebirds.

Solskjaer immediately made a comparison with Manchester City's Premier League title-winning pair of David Silva and Samir Nasri.

"Like those two, Mats runs between the lines, is creative, has vision, takes players on," purred Solskjaer.

Sadly, he has been seen too infrequently this season and will wear the Cardiff City shirt no more. Daehli never fitted in with Russell Slade's 4-4-2, nor did the style of football adopted suit him. Thus his new year move back to Europe, with Bundesliga outfit Freiberg, was the most inevitable transfer of 2015.

Personally, I'd have liked Cardiff to deem Daehli the best player at the club - which he is - and build the team around him in the type of 4-2-3-1 formation so many fans covet.

Under that system, the Norwegian teenager could have floated in the hole around Kenwyne Jones and also offered desperately needed mid-field back up to the overstretched Aron Gunnarsson and Peter Whittingham.

It was not to be, though.

Since Slade came in, Daehli has had 21 minutes as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Reading and a further 20 minutes in a similar triumph against Nottingham Forest.

My guess is that the moment his mentor Solskjaer left the club, Daehli may have had one eye upon pastures new himself.

News of his impending PS2m departure led to the inevitable reaction from fans on social networking.

"An absolute disgrace."

"Laughable."

"An exceptional talent wasted."

"Cardiff City's worst mistake."

"Watch him become a world star elsewhere."

"That's it, I'm not going any more."

Those were typical of the comments posted by the pro-Daehli brigade.

Others counter Daehli is too lightweight, overrated and that his stock has suddenly risen beyond proportions through his absence from a stuttering Cardiff XI.

Judge as you see fit. Personally, I think Daehli is a fantastic footballer, who rarely gives the ball away and had the Cardiff fans hopeful whenever in possession.

If I have a criticism of him, it's that he sometimes flattered to deceive and didn't deliver often enough where it really mattered in the final third of the pitch.

But some of that was down to the fact that he was often stuck on the wing, rather than in the middle, while it should also be remembered he is still only 19 years of age.

Even if you are Gareth Bale, you're not the finished article as a teenager.

While Cardiff have ignored Daehli recently, for whatever reason, he has been a regular first choice for Norway and has turned in a number of man-of-the-match displays at international level.

In his homeland, he is rated as one of the brightest football prospects Norway have had. He may well yet go on to become a world name.

Time will tell on that one, but Cardiff's loss is very much Freiberg's gain. Early in the new year, Daehli will begin preparing for Bundesliga matches against Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund for his new club.

Around this time last year he left Norwegian football to become part of a relegation battle with the Bluebirds. He leaves Cardiff to join a relegation battle with rock bottom Freiberg.

Daehli will be hoping he's more successful this time around. But even amidst the bottom of the table Cardiff gloom, he was one of the few shining lights for Solskjaer's team.

Expect the Freiberg fans to really take to him, too.

CAPTION(S):

Mats Moller Daehli has been allowed to leave to join Bundesliga outfit Freiberg
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Article Type:Column
Date:Dec 24, 2014
Words:636
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