Former Manchester United and St. Pauli attacker Mats Moller Daehli has become an important player for Nuremberg since joining in January 2021. - © Markus Fischer via images/Passion2Press
Former Manchester United and St. Pauli attacker Mats Moller Daehli has become an important player for Nuremberg since joining in January 2021. - © Markus Fischer via images/Passion2Press
2. Bundesliga

Mats Moller Daehli: Who is the nimble Norwegian out to get Nuremberg promoted?


Nuremberg made a great start to their 2021/22 Bundesliga 2 campaign - with their nifty Norwegian Mats Moller Daehli playing a key role. brings you up to speed on the former Manchester United attacker's career so far.

Mats Moller Daehli

Age: 26
Club: Nuremberg 
Position: Attacking midfielder
Country: Norway (27 caps/1 goal)

Key Stats

The Oslo native started out at local clubs Lyn and Stabaek before spending three years at Manchester United's academy as a teenager. He won the club's Academy Player of the Year prize for the 2011/12 season before returning home to Norwegian side Molde in July 2013. Current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was Daehli's coach there, and he handed the 5'6" winger his professional debut in the Norwegian top flight in August 2013. After winning the Norwegian Cup that year, the pair were reunited in January 2014 when Solskjaer signed Daehli for Cardiff City. He then moved to Freiburg in January 2015, making his Bundesliga debut in March 2015 in a 1-0 defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Daehli (r.) was given his professional debut by current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (l.) when the pair worked together at Molde in 2013. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

Injuries curtailed Daehli's progress at Freiburg and he joined Bundesliga 2 side St. Pauli in January 2017 - initially on loan - before going on to register five goals and 15 assists in 86 games. His time in Hamburg came to an end when he left for Genk in January 2020, although his fresh start in Belgium was brought to a halt two months later when the league season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Daehli returned to Germany and Bundesliga 2 when he signed for Nuremberg in January 2021 - a loan move that was made permanent six months later. He got his first cap for Norway in November 2013, and now counts Union Berlin's Julian Ryerson, Eintracht Frankfurt's Jens Petter Hauge and Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland among his international teammates.

Plays a bit like: Emil Forsberg

A fan of playing chess when he is not working, Daehli spends his time on the pitch trying to keep the opposition defence in check. A predominately right-footed player who often cuts in from the left, the Norwegian can nonetheless play in any attacking midfield position. His game can resemble that of Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman when he stays out on the left and takes on his man, but his style is also similar to that of versatile RB Leipzig attacker Emil Forsberg. While he doesn't have as strong a goalscoring record as the Sweden international, the pacy Daehli is just as busy looking to create openings for teammates when he moves in off the wing or plays in behind a striker.

Daehli provides a similar creative spark for Nuremberg to that which Emil Forsberg (pictured) offers RB Leipzig. - Roger Petzsche via images/Picture Point LE

Did you know? 

Daehli's father was a football journalist when he brought his son to a match for the first time. The young fan enjoyed the experience all the more since it culminated with him getting to meet then Manchester United and England midfielder David Beckham. So that day he fared better than his father, who had been waiting to try and interview Beckham after the game with several other journalists.

"I was already a fan of Manchester United and I waited for Beckham with my mother and hundreds of other fans," Daehli told the Nuremberg website. "He drove out in his car and went past the journalists and my father. Then he stopped and chose me of all people out of about 300 fans. A steward came over and took me to the car. I was able to get an autograph and take a picture. Then he drove away without speaking to anyone. It was totally crazy that I of all people was picked out at five years of age."

Eleven years later, Daehli would follow in Beckham's footsteps by linking up with the Manchester United academy.

Watch: Daehli was at his best against Paderborn in July 2021

What they're saying

"With Freiburg and St. Pauli I've already played for two really cool clubs with super fans. It's the same here [at Nuremberg]. I realise how important football is to people - and I like that." – Daehli speaking to the Nuremberg website

"Mats is an extremely enthusiastic player who always wants the ball, moves in off the wings and sets up teammates. It's hard for the opposition to keep control of him." – St. Pauli boss Timo Schultz speaking about the club's former player

"With the way he plays, he carries the team along with him." – Nuremberg head coach Rober Klauß